She's gorgeous. I could sit here in the café and watch her all day long, while she does her homework. Beautiful dark red hair, porcelain skin, jade green eyes, and the most contagious laughter I've ever heard in life-and she's not just a pretty face either. My girl has a personality that just doesn't quit; she's bubbly, witty, and incredibly intelligent. In short, she's perfect, and that is my downfall. Don't get me wrong, she's head over heels in love with me-I can tell, because she calls me 'honey' when I go through her line at the grocery store; but those friends of hers, and that slimeball who constantly has his hands on her-well, they keep her distracted. She forgets, she doesn't pay attention to me like she would if we were alone. Rhiannon doesn't even know that I exist, as long as they are there to keep her occupied. I'm going to fix all of that for us though, soon enough. Before long, there will be nobody standing in the way of us being together, I can promise you that.

Rhiannon Jordan sat in the café on campus known as The Galleria. With free wi-fi service, and a wait staff regarded as above par by most of the population at Westwood U, it was almost a miracle that the place wasn't bustling and noisy; however, the majority of classes were just being dismissed, so it wouldn't be long until the café was jam packed with famished co-eds like herself.

On this particular afternoon, she was working on a paper for her Creative Writing class, munching on her usual chocolate chip cookies and sipping on a Pepsi, all while blocking out the noises of the outside world with her ever present iPod.

At least it had seemed that way to the three people attempting to sneak up on the redhead.

"Nice try, but you aren't gonna make me scream and throw soda on a waitress again today," She stated, plucking an earbud from her ear.

"Damn it, how did you know?" Ariel demanded.

"Because, Ariel Faith, I saw you out of my peripherals. There's no way I'm gonna miss a hot pink leopard print dress over purple tights, or a bright green kimono. Plus, Shane's hair sticks out like a sore thumb-no offense babes."

"None taken, that's the reason I picked this color," Shane replied, smirking, as he ran a hand through his bright red locks.

"...My dress isn't that bright!"

Rhiannon raised an eyebrow in amusement.

"Abriana, you're an artist, you know exactly how bright it is-that is, unless you just suddenly went color blind," Rhiannon quipped.

"Cram it Lydia, it's your fault we're here in the first place," Abriana retorted.

"Yeah, we're trying to find out what you wanna do for your birthday," Ariel added.

"Absolutely nothing."

The statement was punctuated with a wry smile, as the other three occupants of the table moaned in frustration.

"Rhia, we go through this every year, and every year we give you the same answer..." Abriana started.

"You're getting a party whether you like it or not," Ariel finished, smirking.


"That's unacceptable. You threw three of the most badass parties in the history of Westwood University for us on our birthdays, now we're insisting on doing the same for you," Shane agreed.

"But I don't want-"

"Okay, so you don't want some big production. How about a concert? Or, better yet, a battle of the bands."


"Oh come on Rhia, you'll have so much fun, and besides, Shane's band is headlining," Ariel added.

Rhia glanced over at her boyfriend who blushed.

"The Ragdolls are headlining!?"

"Possibly," Shane replied, with a smirk.

"What he means is, they're only accepting the gig if the after party doubles as your birthday bash," Abriana interjected, rolling her eyes.

"...Fine, okay, yes, the after party can double as a party for my birthday," Rhiannon sighed, rolling her eyes as well.

"Excellent! Hey, are you gonna finish those?"

Shane didn't bother giving Rhia time to answer, deciding instead to just slide the saucer of cookies over to himself.

"Shane! Those are my cookies!"

"And now they're mine. What are you gonna do about it?"

Shane wriggled his eyebrows suggestively, causing Rhia to giggle as she pressed her lips to his.

Ana and Ari shared a look, simultaneously rolling their eyes.

"That's our cue, we'll see you two lovebirds later," Ana laughed, as she and Ari took off.

Rhia waved at them with her free hand-as the other was currently threaded into Shane's hair-before using it to slide the saucer of cookies back over to its original spot, next to her laptop.

Across the café, another man glared at Shane through narrowed eyes, growling under his breath.

"Get your hands off her Brooks, you're not allowed to touch her like that, she's mine," He murmured, before turning his gaze into his empty coffee mug.

By this point, Shane and Rhiannon had pulled apart, and Shane was smiling over at someone across the small cafe.

"Shane, what-"

"Hey, Branson! Why the anti-social thing? I don't bite-anyone but her, that is!"

Rhiannon sighed, trying not to roll her eyes or look too uncomfortable. Dylan was nothing short of extremely creepy; she just really didn't want to have to admit that to Shane; Dylan was one of his best friends, and like it or not, she had to put up with him.

"Sorry, Brooks, I'm supposed to be meeting someone here," Dylan replied, smiling.

"I want details on that date later, bro!" Shane retorted.

Dylan rolled his eyes and waved them off.

"Come on, let's get out of here, before you're late to the newspaper meeting, and I'm late for class, again."

"And whose fault is that, Mr. Brooks?"

"Yours, for being so gorgeous that I can't keep my eyes, or my hands, or my lips off you."

"Flattery will get you nowhere..."

"So, you got plans later?"

"Other than finishing my paper, after I've had time to relax later tonight, no, why?"

"That movie you wanted to see is playing at the mall this week, and I need some hints as to what to get you."


He chuckled at the warning tone in her voice, raking a hand through his bright red hair as she gave him a warning glare to go along with it. He blew a raspberry at her, smirking as she giggled and rolled her eyes in response.

"No buts, you're getting a gift and that's final."

The two gathered up Rhiannon's things and exited the café. His gaze followed their every movement, and he suppressed another growl as he watched Shane's arm settle in its normal place around the redhead's waist.

"Enjoy it while you can, Brooks, but know that you're living on borrowed time. Rhiannon is mine, she always has been, and she always will be...she just doesn't realize it yet."