I shoved my locker irritatedly, pushing my hair out of my eyes. I needed a haircut. Really, when would guys ever learn that girls (or me, at least) did not appreciate being treated like a fragile vase? I had four fully functional limbs; I did not need people carrying my books for me, buying food for me, standing up to other people for me. I blew a stubborn lock of hair out of my eyes, annoyed.

"Looks like someone's pissed, eh?"

I looked up, startled, to meet a pair of the bluest eyes I'd ever seen. I felt rooted to the spot, electricity running amok through my veins. He was leaning against his locker (which happened to be just beside mine) grinning, as if he knew some huge secret. Did he not know how good he looked smiling?

I must have stared too long, because he straightened up and waved a hand in my face.

"Hello? Earth to Jack Sparroe."

I flushed scarlet.

"Are you okay?" I could see genuine concern in his eyes. His hair was tousled, just how I liked it, and it looked perfect. With his dirt-blonde messy hair, deep ocean-blue eyes and muscled body, it wasn't hard to see why he was one of the most popular guys in school. Not difficult at all. To top things off, he was single to boot.

"Y –Yeah, I'm fine." I kicked myself mentally for behaving so stupidly in front of him. I blew at that stubborn lock of hair unconsciously. It kept flopping into my eyes it was irritating.

"Here, let me."

I froze as he reached out a lean hand and tucked my hair behind my ear. He had long fingers, I noticed, a definite plus. I wonder if he plays the piano His hand brushed against my cheek, sending a bolt of electricity through my veins. I jumped involuntarily back, staring into his eyes. How could I ever have rejected him?

Then again, I hadn't. I'd avoided hi two years ago because I simply didn't know how to react. Just when I was ready to be friends, he started avoiding me. That hurt, I tell you. Still, I never told anyone about my major crush on him, not even Drew. I had blocked all feelings toward him, until recently. Josh Lakers was just so… there. He always managed to cheer me up, like now.

I smiled. "Thanks Josh."

"No problem," he grinned back. "Want to go grab some coffee with me?"

My face lit up. Of course! I thought, but my stupid mouth just HAD to say something else. "I can't. I gotta get to the library to finish my research paper." What was the matter with me!? He was asking me out, and I was blowing him off? Argh! Stupid paper!

Josh shrugged. "I'll go with you. I finished mine last week, so I can help you… if you like," he added uncertainly.

"Really?" a bubble of hope rose within me. Was it possible that he still liked me? I ignored the fact that he was a known player.

"Yeah, really." He grinned again and reached to push my hair back. It had fallen into my eyes again. I decided not to get a haircut after all. 'You have beautiful eyes,' he murmured.

I blushed, and at the same time a voice entered my head. How do you know he doesn't say that to every girl? Stupid voice. The hairs on the back of my neck prickled, and I felt like we were being watched. I glanced over Josh's broad shoulder.

It was Drew, and he looked furious.

Furious? It was the understatement of the year, I thought, as Drew came closer. He was glaring at Josh with an intensity that scared me. I'd never seen that side of Drew before...

Then, with absolutely no warning whatsoever, he grabbed my arm and started dragging me to his car without so much as a backward glance at Josh, who just stood in the hall dumbly with an odd expression on his face. What was up with that?

Drew pushed me into the car, albeit rather gently, then slammed the door shut, hard enough to make me jump.

"What the hell was that for?!" I yelled as soon as he got in his side of the car.

"What were you doing with him?" Drew spat, eyes ablaze, blatantly ignoring my question. He pulled the car door shut.

"Why the hell did you pull me away like that?! You have no right!" I shouted. I was livid, and for a good reason too. I had just been utterly humiliated in front of the guy I'd had a crush on for half a year, no less!

"He's a player, and you know it! Stay away from him – "

"Like I've been staying away from all the other guys?" We were arguing about the same topic again, but this time I really couldn't help it. "You have no right, absolutely NO right at all to stop me from being with the person I l - from being with other people! We weren't even on a date or anything. We were just talking, for heavens' sake!"

I continued, unable to stop myself. "I'm almost seventeen, Andrew. Can't you give me a break? For the past sixteen years I've stayed away from guys like you wanted me to, and look where it got me? Cut me some slack, can't you? All these years, I've never had a male friend other than you, Andrew, and I've never had a boyfriend! Why's that? Because you wouldn't allow me to!" I paused to take breath.

"I – "

"No, you listen to ME! Do you know how pathetic I feel in school? I've never dated, and now all the guys think I'm either a lesbian or play too hard to get. I'm a freaking loser, Andrew, and it's all because of you! Why can't you just let me be?!" I was almost hysterical now. I could feel the beginnings of tears. "I hardly know anyone in school, and no one ever notices me! Finally there's a guy who notices my existence and you – "

"I notice you." He said it so softly, so dejectedly, that I stopped ranting, the wind lost from my sails.

"What?" I said quietly.

He turned to face the window of his car. I took a deep breath.

"Andrew, I'm almost seventeen. Please, just… don't. I really like Josh, okay?" That familiar blush clung to my cheeks as Drew turned stared into my eyes silently. It was unnerving the way he did that, as if he was reading my mind. I moved away uncomfortably, and he dropped his gaze.

"Please, just… stay away and let me live my life, okay?" I was getting desperate. "I've never talked to another guy the way I have you, just because you don't want me to! I've never gone out with any of them! I've never been kissed – "

At that, Andrew's eyes snapped up to meet mine, his brown eyes suddenly darker than usual. I flushed. He didn't have to know that… how embarrassing. He had an odd expression on his face. We were both so quiet the soft whispering of the air conditioning could be heard. I didn't know how to read the look in his eyes, for once. Heck, I could barely meet his intense stare. I opened my mouth nervously, wanting to apologize (I did say I hated arguing with him, didn't I?), when he pulled me to him roughly.

My senses seemed to be on overdrive. I had goosebumps where he was holding me firmly by both arms. My eyes widened in shock as he lowered his face to mine. His lips fascinated me. They inched closer… closer…

I was expecting a rough brush on my lips, so I was somewhat pleasantly surprised when he touched mine gently. So gently I wasn't even sure they were there. Something seemed to explode inside of me, leading my heart to beat wildly. He let go of my arms, and framed my face with his hands, slowly deepening the kiss. It was as if he was unsure about it…. why was he unsure? And slow… too slow… I could barely think to breathe. I reached out for his hair, pulling his head closer to me, his hair is really soft.

As soon as I pulled him nearer, Drew pressed himself closer, one hand supporting my head and the other on my back. At first, I didn't even notice it was there, not until he moved it to my waist. He tickled me softly, and instead of jumping away in shock, I pressed my lips closer to his. I think that was the effect he desired, because he smiled.

Jerk, I thought fondly.

Then his tongue slipped out and licked my lips slowly. Before I could react, Drew pulled away. Wha…? He moved his head so his face was a mere few inches from mine, close enough for me to feel his breath on my face.

"Now you have," he whispered huskily. Now I have what? I thought stupidly. Realization dawned on me: he was referring to my statement earlier. Drew grinned and tucked a lock of stray hair behind my ear, running his long fingers through my jet-black curls.

I was speechless. Had Andrew just… kissed me? My best friend had kissed me. And what's more, I had enjoyed it; I wanted more. I shook my head mentally. This was wrong, this was all wrong! I turned my gaze to my hands, innocently folded and shaking (from pleassure and shock) in my lap. My breath was still erratic, mind overwhelmed with thoughts.

This is completely wrong! How could I have kissed my best friend? My best friend!

Ah, but he kissed you first, replied a voice at the back of my mind.

I enjoyed it!

What can I say? He's a good kisser.

But I'm not supposed to enjoy it, I like Josh!

Boy, boy, what a difficult situation, the voice said dryly. You can like someone and enjoy kissing someone else, you know.

"Jack?" Andrew lifted my chin with his thumb and index. I pulled away. I couldn't look at him. I didn't want to.

His hand dropped. "Jack, what's wrong?" He sounded worried. "Look, I'm sorry, I really am. Please don't be mad." Sorry? Whatever for? I wondered. That kiss was the best thing that ever happened to me. But it was all wrong! Josh was supposed to be the one to kiss me, not Drew! But still, that kiss was the best, most fantastic thing that ever –

"I'm sorry if you wanted to save your first kiss for Lakers," he said, a hint of bitterness in his voice. What? Was I that easy to read? But I didn't regret that kiss. I didn't. I snapped my eyes up to meet his. He had a hard expression on his face and I cocked my head, trying to identify it. it was a curious mixture of anger, hurt and… jealousy. Jealousy? Why would he be jea –

"So I guess you do," he said quietly.

Was that really what he thought? I glared at him indignantly. So he had that little faith in me. "You – '

He didn't wait to hear my reply, just got out of the car, leaving me drowning in a whirlpool of confusion.