By: Erica Cope

“Oh!” I gasp. I feel the blood pooling in my cheeks. “I'm so sorry. I wasn't really paying attention.”

I lean over to pick up the book that has fallen from my clumsy grip, but he beats me to it. I swear he has the reflexes of a ninja.

“We should really get you something new to read,” he says as he glances at the book with a knowing smirk and hands it back to me. He must be thinking about the first time we met. It was under similar circumstances. My face starts to burn as I remember the first time I ran into him. Well, I guess that is not really a good analogy. You would've thought I’d slammed into a cement wall the way I’d dropped to the ground. I was distracted then too, but over something a little less weird than a creepy boy with a staring problem. That time I was just preoccupied with my class schedule, debating between what I wanted to take and what I thought I actually should take. Every spring I enroll in a fluffy class like Choir for an easy A. But every fall, my guilty conscience forces me to drop it for something more practical like a lab. That day, Grey had just exited the counselor's office as I bounded in the door completely engrossed in the debate going on in my head and not paying any attention to where I was going. I had slammed into him, hard, dropping everything that was in my hands and landing flat on my back.

I'll never forget the look on his face. He went from befuddled to amused in a split second. Probably because his beautiful purplish-blue eyes had stunned me into paralysis, and I was just lying there on the ground staring into them, completely entranced, like an idiot. I had never seen eyes that color before. Finally, he gave me a crooked smile and offered me his hand as he introduced himself. He helped me pick up my things and handed me the exact same book that I brought with me to work today. I tend to re-read my favorites.

“But I love this book,” I say as I stare down at the familiar cover affectionately.

“I know,” he says with an amused smile. “So what has you so distracted this morning? I've been standing here waiting for you to get out of your car for several minutes now.”

His smooth, velvety voice brings me back to the present, and as I look up at him I notice his eyes are lit up with humor. Yeah, he is definitely remembering that embarrassing day as well. We’ve been friends for a couple of months now, he knows very well how easily distracted I am.

I narrow my eyes at him, and he smiles that sexy, crooked smile I know so well. The boy is so beautiful when he smiles like that. I have to mentally slap myself to stop staring at him before I start to drool. He is already dressed in the required uniform. Only he could make that ugly maroon vest look good. His black pants and white button down shirt are both perfectly pressed. His face is cleanly shaven, and I have to resist the urge to touch his smooth cheek to see if it feels as silky as it looks.

I feel so very inadequate standing next to his perfection.

“Nothing,” I reply as I try to come up with a reasonable excuse. “I’m just tired.”

“Oh yes, big game last night, right?”

“Yeah, we played against our biggest rival. Didn't you go?” I ask, even though I already know he didn't. Grey is new to our school this year and he doesn't really seem like the overly social type. In fact, other than to our co-workers and myself, I rarely see him speaking to anyone. Which happens to be quite the disappointment to the female student body. Grey has more than his fair share of admirers.

“Nope, somebody has to hold down the fort while you are out cheering on the home team.” Another smirk. Apparently he finds it amusing that this semi-nerdy girl is also on the cheerleading squad.

“That's right. How was it last night? Super busy?”

“A little busier than normal for a Friday night, I suppose. We didn't close up until after midnight.”

Perfect. If Friday was that busy, today is definitely going to be a nightmare. Oh well, at least I'll be working with Grey. Work is never terrible when he is around. In fact, it is downright lovely. I don't know what it is about him but I feel drawn to him. I mean, there is, of course, the obvious fact that he is, hands down, the most gorgeous creature ever to walk the halls of our high school. His eyes are the kicker for me. They are an unusual and stunning shade of indigo blue that contrast handsomely with his dark, disheveled, slightly longer than chin-length hair. Normally, I am not a fan of longer hair on boys, but on Greyson it’s just downright hot. Several inches taller than my 5'2” frame, he isn't an overly “big” guy, but he isn't tiny either. Somehow, he is just perfectly in between.

I feel like I’ve known him for years instead of only a few short months. When I’m around him, I feel all sorts of conflicting emotions. He makes me feel vulnerable yet safe. Nervous, but completely at ease. Which is funny, since he is so completely out of my league that you would think I would forget to breathe around him.

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