Summary: In a prestigious private school, theatrical and intelligent Charlize Landers is forced to work with cocky and smart Eddie Crimson on a major project. Neither of them could get along, but the last thing Charlize and Eddie ever expected was to fall for each other.

Ch.1

Already late. Again. Great, just great. Good job, Charlize.

"Charlize, will you hurry your ass up?!" my younger sister Belle shouted from downstairs. Just a fucking second if you please, I thought. As I was finishing buttoning up my uniform blouse, I checked myself in the mirror reminding myself I needed to put on some bracelets and at least a pair of earrings. "Charlize!"

"Will you calm your ass down! I'll be right there!" I replied extremely loud. Ugh! I looked pathetic. Maybe I was exaggerating. I whirled around and picked up my heavy backpack and grasped my laptop quickly which was on my messy desk.

Descending down the stairs, I entered the kitchen to find Belle and my younger brother Jude waiting for me. Getting a late start once again, Charlize.

"Can we go? I need to get to school!" Belle snapped at me. I glanced up at her and then at Jude. Jude chose to listening to his CD player, not worried in the least bit yet.

"Belle, it's not even seven thirty in the fucking morning yet!" I yelled back at her as I checked my watch, knocking some sense into her. She read the kitchen's clock beside her and let out a sigh. Did I mention I cursed like a drunken sailor at times? Bad habit I guess.

"Char, some of us want to get to school early," she retorted.

"Who?" I asked her. "You're the only one wanting to get to school early! Just hold your horses, alright?"

So far, this morning wasn't going so well. First, I woke up late. Then, I had to hear Belle's whining. "I say just take your time," Jude replied quietly, still listening to his music.

"Who's side are you on?" Belle asked him, frowning.

"There you go! Thanks Jude!" I cried out. I looked back at Belle who was still frowning. My smile disappeared instantly.

"Can we just get to school?" she asked me, trying to remain calm.

Was I ever going to win with her? She was probably PMSing.

"Sure, in a moment. Where's Navid?" I replied as I asked about our other brother. Usually he'd get a ride from me too.

"Mom took him to soccer practice early this morning on her way to work. Dad left for the hospital already. He said he'll try to make it in time for dinner." Belle explained.

"If he makes it in time." Jude shot out of nowhere.

"Ok, well let me just get a damn cereal bar since I'm on such a mad dash to school to satisfy Belle," I announced out loud. "Is... is that ok my darling sister Belle?" I sarcastically said.

"Goddamn it Char! Just hurry up!" she shouted, yet again.

"Oh, you made her mad my wonderful sister Charlize!" Jude joked with me.

I grinned at this. "It appears that I did. Well, let me grab something to eat and we'll be on our way." I declared.

"THANK YOU!" she exclaimed.

Getting a random cereal bar from the kitchen, I soon realized my keys were an essential part in getting to school. Question was… where were they?

"Where are my keys?" I asked. Shoot! Wrong question!

"WHAT? DAMN IT CHAR!" Belle gasped as she stormed off searching for them herself around the kitchen and the living room.

While I ate my cereal bar quickly, I looked in Mom's office where I had been last night finishing up my English paper until one in the damn morning. No keys.

"Have you checked your room?" Jude asked me. Good idea.

"I'll check!" Belle shouted out as she attempted to get to my room by climbing the stairs. Much faster than her, I got to the top first and managed to enter my messy room.

Now that it was morning, I was able to get a more clear picture of just how disorganized it really was. Okay, I admit, I had some things to do this weekend that involves cleaning the place up.

"This is going to take forever." Belle mumbled behind me. She was leaning against the doorframe implying that she was not entering for sure.

"Just calm down, ok?" I barked at her.

She was somewhat right, although I couldn't let her know that. Glancing about the room, I looked over at my desk. There were mostly CDs scattered about, a lot of college brochures, and some job applications. This was aggravating now.

Two long minutes passed. Nothing.

"There they are!" Belle pointed out in relief over to my night table. That was random. Not somewhere I usually place my keys at, but oh well.

Grabbing my keys, I made my way out of the room and down the stairs once again. Belle followed as she grabbed her stuff and Jude finally stood up.

"We ready to go?" he asked.

"Yup! Let's head out." I called out. I grabbed my belongings and then we were out of the house. Locking the back door, I unlocked the car doors with my beeper allowing Belle to not hound me further. Belle, with such exasperation, was now occupying the front seat. Jude lazily resorted to one of the backseats.

Opening the trunk of my car, I dumped my backpack and laptop with my other stuff like my duffle bag for soccer practice and other shit I hadn't even bothered to get out of my car yet. Not enough time, you see? Slamming the trunk down, I got into my car and managed to get the engine going, pulled out of my driveway, and was now smoothly driving towards school.

"Happy now?" I asked my sister.

"Yes, now I am." she simply replied, checking herself in the mirror.

"Well, the world does not revolve around you, you know?"

"Okay, I wouldn't be stuck in this situation every damn morning if-"

"If you didn't plan a four in the morning drive to your boyfriend's house to do God knows what and then get your car taken away for an entire month!" I finished for her. I heard Jude trying to hold in his laughter.

"So what?" she answered annoyed.

"So what? I wouldn't even dream of going to my boyfriend's house at that time, no matter how much I claimed I loved him." I explained.

Silence.

"You have no boyfriend." Belle blankly replied.

Burn.

"Your point?" I asked coldly.

"My point, Char, is that this is your senior year! You broke up with Ryan nine months ago! Don't you think it's time to go on a couple of dates and get back in the dating game?" she asked. Note about my sister, her nosy self never stops being nosy and butting into my love life.

"So what if I don't have a boyfriend? It's not the most fucking important thing for me to have one. It's good being single." I sighed.

"You could have fooled me. You can be so blind, Char. Donnie likes you. Nathan and Joe like you too. I bet there are other guys that work with you in the plays that like you too. I see how they look at you. You should think about that." she said, sounding more like our mom.

"Damn it Belle! Just leave Char alone with that shit! If she doesn't want to go on a date, then she won't. She's got her own mind." Jude cried out from the backseat defending me.

"Thank you Jude." I said. And I was thankful. My little brother had a way of rescuing me when Belle tried to bring me down.

"Fine!" she said giving up.

"Just leave the matters of my love life to me, ok Belle?" I told her.

"Sure, whatever." she mumbled.

Throughout the rest of the car ride, the only sounds made were from my Bob Marley CD that I had everyone listening to. We all remained quiet, which was not usual, as I finally got to the school parking lot.

Coming to my view, I could see the uniform colors of two different schools well combined. St. Agnes Academy and St. Thomas Preparatory School were two private schools sharing the same campus. Did I mention I go to a private Catholic school? There was an all girls' school right next to an all boys' school. A lot of girls liked this arrangement, but were still unsatisfied with how the boys had only a few classes with them in the girls' school. Sometimes the girls would go over to the boys' school for classes over there. Then, there was lunch. That's what I call "mingling hour," where all the guys and girls got to socialize with each other and let their hormones run wild at times.

"What time is it?" Jude asked.

"It's seven forty now." Belle replied, looking at her watch.

"See, I told you we weren't going to be late." I said.

"Yes, but I need to go to my locker and at least chat a few moments with my friends before advisory. Today, oh wow! I get ten minutes! Fascinating!" she said sarcastically.

"Oh quit your fussing. It's not that bad. You have Sister Tillings for advisory and she lets people arrive late." I reminded her.

"Lucky! I get Father Jenkins and the old guy makes people write essays on punctuality and using time wisely." Jude shared with us.

"Well, that is because- WHOA!" I hit the brakes real hard making us all come to an abrupt stop. Damn! A great way to start my morning. I almost ran over three guys. What would God think of me if I did? Okay, stop Charlize. They all looked in shock, but one of them was quick to recover and respond. All I wished was for him to disappear.

His name? Eddie Crimson. Senior at St. Thomas. The guy had one hell of a cocky attitude when it came to girls. He might be smart, funny, and clever but I could not stand him! I could deal with his two other friends Frank and Ben since they were friends with me too, but he was beyond impossible. Girls at St. Agnes say he's blessed with his so called 'good looks' that they're are attracted to, but I was obviously not. Ugh! I usually don't like being like this with people, but with him it's just hell dealing with him.

Making his way over to my side of the car, he motioned for me to lower my window. Annoyingly, I did.

"Well, Ms. Landers... you're driving a bit careless this morning, aren't you? You see, I don't know how you obtained a license young lady, but you must have had a lot of luck eh? Now, you don't want to set a bad example to the little freshmen school girls who look up to you, now do you?" he said, grinning himself like a little boy.

I heard Belle chuckle and Jude hold in a snicker. They weren't helping.

"Why you good-for-nothing-" I began before he cut me off.

"And that foul language is not appropriate either, young lady. I suggest thinking before acting. Really now, Ms. Landers! We wouldn't want God knowing one of His children is disrespecting another child of His, now would He?" he asked me, leaning on my car.

"Well, it's a good thing I'm on God's good humor. Watch your fingers." I snapped at him and rolled my window up. He stepped back, surprisingly, and grinned even wider. His grin made me want to slap him even more! Frank and Ben made way for me as I continued to drive until I found an empty space.

After I turned the ignition off, Belle jumped out of the car immediately and waved bye to both me and Jude. She was off and while I grabbed my stuff from the trunk, I noticed Jude still besides my car.

Silence.

"What's wrong?" I asked him.

Silence again.

"Why do you have to hate him so much? He's a funny guy." he finally spoke, smiling at the incident.

I sighed. "He must be the devil's child," I replied.

Jude laughed. "Come on, Char. He's just teasing you. He does that to everyone, but he's a cool guy."

"Not to everyone. He and I are just not meant to get along... ever." I concluded as I locked my doors and walked off towards advisory.

"See you later then." Jude called softly after me as he walked off to his own advisory.

Heading into the courtyard, I saw how there were girls now rushing to get to advisory for announcements and attendance. Obvious clue that I was running late. Quickening my pace, I almost made it indoors before someone called out my name.

"Charlize Landers! Ms. Landers! I was wondering if I could speak to you for a moment!" Sister Kent called out to me. I turned around and walked to her. She was one of the nicest nuns in the school. How could I say no? Besides, Sister Stuart was in charge of my advisory and she let people come in late from time to time as long as nobody made a habit of it.

"Of course!" I replied a bit too quickly.

"Ms. Landers, I was wondering if perhaps you might be interested in helping out the dance committee with preparations for the Winter Wonderland Dance. It's coming up soon, you know! Mother Superior put me in charge of overseeing that senior girls get involved for community service hours," she explained.

"That sounds good. Um, but when?" I asked.

"See, I understand that senior girls are busy with other extra-curricular activities during the week so I've arranged for a schedule of when you can sign up on Saturdays. Father Bailey will be recruiting some gentlemen from St. Thomas to help out too! Their dance has more than enough volunteers to help out. You can sign up in the mornings from nine to eleven or in the afternoons from one to three." she informed me.

"Sounds great, Sister Kent! I'll make sure to come by your classroom by the end of the day to sign up." Her smile widened more, pleased at my response.

"Thank you Ms. Endrington. I know I've kept you from getting to advisory, so I could write you a pass." she offered.

"I have Sister Stuart as my advisor and she lets one slip by every now and then." I told her. She nodded at this.

"Well that's good. If it had been Sister Dennison, then we'd have a bit of a hiccup there, but shh… Thank you for volunteering!" she finally spoke as I nodded.

Continuing to make my way to advisory, I finally made it to the door of Sister Stuart's classroom just as the bell rang. About to enter, the other senior girls stormed out with their pushing and shoving to get to the first class of the day.

"Char!" one of my best friends Rebecca called out to me as she came out.

"Hey Becca! I got in late. Bad morning I guess." I explained.

She displayed a sympathetic look. "Oh really? That sucks. I'll see you in AP History then, ok?" she said as she got carried away by the current of abundant freshmen girls surrounding her.

"Sure!" I called out.

Finally making my way into Sister Stuart's classroom, I saw her look up at me from her desk under her thick glasses.

"Ms. Landers, did you get a late start this morning?" she asked me.

"Actually, Sister Kent had to speak with me while I was making my way here."

"I see. Then, can I count on you to be present the rest of the day?" she joked.

"Of course, Sister Stuart! I wouldn't plan on missing out your theology class." I said to her.

Laughing at this, she replied, "Better get on to your first class then!"

"Bye Sister Stuart," I finally said as I left her classroom while sophomore girls were parading to their desks for their first class of the day.

My first class was AP World History which meant I had to go all the way to the boys' school since Mr. Stewart was my teacher. That meant going through the courtyard again, past the large parking lot and the boys' courtyard into their building. Ugh! Long walk.

Breaking into a run, I made it all the way to the other courtyard when the bell sounded. Great! Late for class! First, I wake up late, almost run over Eddie Crimson (which I would have liked to see happen without facing a murder charge) and now be late for class! I dashed into the building and made it to the entrance of Mr. Stewart's classroom. Unfortunately, his door was open while everyone was seated and he was speaking. Now or never Charlize, I thought. Entering the classroom slowly, I felt everyone's eyes on me while I slipped into my seat.

"Ms. Landers! I see you have managed to come into my class five minutes late. And what is your excuse if you don't mind the entire class hearing in?" Mr. Stewart's merry voice rang out from where he was standing.

"Uh... Sister Kent needed to speak to me, Mr. Stewart." I told him.

"I see. Well, before you joined us, I was discussing with the rest of the class that managed to get to class on time despite whatever confrontation they had with a teacher of theirs, that we are beginning a new project!" he said out loud, addressing the rest of the class who groaned at this. "Now look people! I know that you're seniors and you don't feel like doing work this year, but guess what? Life ain't fair baby!" he exclaimed. A few of us laughed at this, but he continued. "I know what most of you come here for now. Dances, plays, socializing with friends and maybe kissing up to your crush since your parents can't deal with you spending time at home," More of us laughed at this.

I admit that Mr. Stewart was such a comedian at times.

"So, I've been given the honor to keep your young minds entertained for the entire fifty minutes of my lovely class, at least until you graduate. Catch my drift? So..." he said as he passed out a handout with instructions on our next project that said we were to have partners for. "I've paired you up and you and your partner will have two weeks to complete this project. I expect a well written report and equal amount of work distributed. I want to see the whole icing on the cake, alright? I want sources cited perfectly, I want it neat, I want it top notch! This is an AP class! So if I see that ninety-nine percent of the report sounds like Albert Einstein and the rest sounds like a schmuck mumbling words, then I know who to give most of the credit to. Sounds good?"

Some groaned while others were silent. "Now I will call out the partners so please, when you hear your name, have your desks face each other and that will be the seating arrangement for the remainder of the time until your assignment is completed. Ok? Let's begin. Adams and Abbott. Ashcroft and Reynolds. Black and Summers. Crimson and Landers. Daniels and Lawrence..." What the?

Did I just hear Crimson and Landers? Nah… It couldn't be. No! No way Eddie Crimson and I... no! As Mr. Stewart finished calling out names, I started hearing the echoes of chairs moving about the room. I remained paralyzed. Just then, Eddie Crimson appeared in front of me.

"Good morning! How am I? Thanks for asking! I'm great!" Eddie greeted me in his usual confident attitude. I kept my eyes pealed on the clock above the board. He seemed to notice at what I was staring at and replied, "Oh don't worry Charlize. It's only forty minutes. Can you last? I'll make sure I last. I don't know about you though."

"This can't be right." I mumbled.

"And I thought you were on God's good humor! Guess not!" he replied grinning right back at me.

This was going to be two long weeks. Could it get any worse?