When I get home from school, my house is dark and quiet. I deposit my backpack on the couch and kick off my pink and black Nikes. Planning to be downstairs most of the night, I turn the living room TV on, discover my favorite tv show is having a marathon, and crank the volume before I head to the kitchen to fix a snack. I open some cabinets, look in the refrigerator, and then decide on an apple and peanut butter. Cutting up the apple into slices and putting it in a bowl, I then head to the couch to curl up, eat my snack, and relax before doing a bit of homework.

Two episodes later and it is six o'clock. I go into the downstairs bathroom to check over my appearance. I lean against the counter and stare into my sad brown eyes though the mirror. I don't have to worry about my makeup being messed up because I was just too lazy and tired this morning to put any on. I glance down at my outfit I wore to school today: a white tank top below a pink zip up hoddie with black yoga pants – all from the Victoria's Secret PINK collection. Sighing, I run a hand through my long wavy copper colored hair, and decide it doesn't matter what I look like – it's not like Nick will care anyway.

I go back to my spot on the couch and wait for him, half expecting him not to show up. When it is almost 7, I hear the doorbell ring. He is right on time, how courteous. I go to the door, take a nice deep breath, and then open the door. Sure enough, Nick Bates is standing there – without a backpack or anything – looking handsome with a grin on his face in a black t-shirt, blue workout shorts with black and white stripes on the sides, and a pair of blue Nikes with blue accents. I glance behind him to see a blue Mustang convertible parked in front of my house.

"Hi, come in." I say stepping to the side opening the door wider for you.

He grins down at me as he walks past, "Hey Faye, this is a really nice place." He peers deeper into the house without going further. "I wouldn't mind having a place like this to myself."

I lead us to the living room, "I don't have it to myself, my parents are just gone the weekend." I sit back down on the couch where my backpack is at.

Sitting down at the opposite end of the couch, he tosses an arm along the back of the couch, looking around curiously. "Where are they this weekend?"

I grab the remote, and turn the volume down but not off. "My mom is at some conference and my dad had to go visit a client; they're both really involved in their jobs."

Nick chuckles, "So, since they're not here a lot you pretty much have the place to yourself all the time."

I pull out the paper with our assignment on it out of my backpack. "Not really, but yeah that's kind of true." We sit there in silence for a minute then I wave the paper in front you. "Do you want to work on this here or in my bedroom where my computer is at?"

My heart skips a beat when his eyes roam over by body quickly at the mention of my bedroom. Maybe this wasn't a good idea. He shrugs. "Your bedroom would probably be better since you have a computer up there; plus, we can get a little more comfortable."

Nodding, I stand up and ask, "Do you want me to get you something to eat or drink while we're down here?" He shakes his head no so I start to gather up my backpack and shoes, wondering if his eyes were still appraising me.

Behind me, I feel him stand. "Need help carrying anything?" he asks.

"No, I'm fine, just follow me." I say leading the way up the stairs and to my room, acutely aware that he is right behind me the whole time. After I open the door, I push it open with my hip, dump my stuff near the door, and flip on the light switch at the same time I realize he is one of the first guys to see my girly and dorky room.

Walking into my room, he closes the door behind him and I don't speak up and ask him to leave it open. I didn't want to be confrontational and it wouldn't make any difference if it was open or closed.

He glances around my pale pink room with dark purple accents and grins at his surrounding as he sits down on my purple covered bed. I opt to sit in my comfortable computer chair not far away from the bed but not right beside him either.

He leans forward putting his elbows on his knees. "So, what exactly is this assignment about?"

I hand him the paper, which I had read in its entirety exactly three times and went over again to highlight the instructions and what we actually needed to do. He takes it from my hands. "Basically we have to pick any plant, write at least a two page essay about it, and then give a brief presentation that can be a minimum of 60 seconds."

Nodding as he reads over the paper, he mutters, "Simple enough."

"I was thinking tonight we could pick out plant, research it individually later, and get together again to make an outline of the paper. One of us can type it, the other can revise it, and hopefully that will be done. Then for the presentation maybe we can just go over key facts?"

He stares at me then blinks once then twice. "I think that is more than I have ever heard you say." My face heats up which tugs the corners of his lips into a smile. "That sounds like a good plan by the way, maybe after we get tonight's work done we can have some fun?" He winks then and my blush brightens.

I shake my head and turn toward my computer table pulling out a notebook. "Uh…lets just get this done ok?"

He walks up behind me putting his hands on my chair, "What about a rose?" I look down at the tiny red rose on my wrist and realize my cheeks are probably that same color. He leans his head down close to my ear, "You know you look pretty when you blush."

Biting my lip I play with the pencil in my hands, looking down at the blank paper. "I don't know what you're trying to do but I'm not like those other…girls at our school, so you can just stop."

Chuckling he moves away from me and I hear him sit on my bed. "Trust me," I turn to look at him, "I know you're not like those other," he smiles, "girls…you're sweet – I like that."

Sweet. He had just summed me up in one word; not arrogant or prude or anything to make me feel bad about myself but sweet. My chest felt light and I gave a small smile as I felt my face flush.

He reaches out to me and I look down as his fingertips brush over a warm cheek then tuck my hair behind my ear. "You really have no idea how beautiful you are when you do that."

Thankfully, he pulls his hand away and I laugh nervously. "Can we just finish this up for tonight?" I ask.

He sighs, "Sure, let's get this done."

I turn around, write 'Rose' on the top of the paper, and underline it. I turn around and hand it and a pen to him. "Here, write down a list of whatever you think we need to research and I'll do the same – we can go from there."

Nodding he takes the paper and pen and begins a list. I take out another blank sheet of paper, write 'Rose' on the top of it, and underline it just like I did on his. I chew on my pen cap and then write a points down. Then, quietly, I say, "Maybe we can go for a swim after this…"

"Yeah?" His voice sounds so surprised. "That would be cool."

I look back at him over my shoulder. "I mean, if you want to." I say uninterestedly. "You said you wanted to do something fun right?"

A smirk graces his lips. ""Of course I want to, I wouldn't miss a chance to see a pretty girl in a bikini."

"Whatever." Even though I'm blushing, I try to laugh off his comment, turning back to my paper. "Let's finish this up then."

"We could finish this up later." He says hopefully.

"Why?" I ask turning my chair around to face him.

"Cause I feel like a swim – right now. Come on lets go, I mean we do have a whole week to finish this right?"

I bite my lip, looking away. "Yeah, I guess you're right." I sit there for a minute nervously. "I think we might have some swim trunks that will fit you, if you want?"

He shrugs looking down at himself. "No, I'll just use my boxers if you don't mind."

I nod. "Okay, you can go on downstairs and wait while I get changed if you want."

He shakes his head. "I'll just wait here."

"Well, give me a second to change then." I say as I head into my huge closet closing the door behind me. I strip off my clothing then go to the drawer where I store my swimsuits. I choose a classic solid black bikini. Slipping it on, I look in the full body length mirror. After tying its strings, I adjust the top so it fits nicely over my voluptuous chest and then turn to the side making sure the bottoms look okay on my rounded butt. Minimal coverage, not usually how I dressed around others but I'm almost sure Nick is flirting so I might as well play the flirting game too.

Picking up a silk robe, I start to slip it on as I walk towards the door then stop mid step and drop the robe to the floor. 'No,' I tell myself as I start to open the door, 'I'm going to be calm and confident.' I decide opening the door and find Nick – fully clothed – looking at my bookshelf. "What are you doing?"

"Just lo-" His words drift off as he turns to face me. "Damn." He mumbles.

I blush and wrap my arms around my torso, causing my cleavage to become even more evident. "What?"

He shakes his head. "Sorry, it's just...you look good, you look real good."

"Thanks." I mumble as I blush brighter, "Are you going to take your clothes off down there?" I ask.

He pulls his black shirt over his head revealing his toned upper body. "Are you that eager to see my naked?"

I roll my eyes as he kicks his shoes off and removes his socks. "No, just wondering if you are going to get into the pool fully clothed." He pushes his gym shorts off. "You ready now?"

"Ready as I'll ever be." He says with a wink.

"Okay, let's go then."