Friday, March 28, 2008

GOING GREEN

DAY 9

I wasn’t exactly shy. But when a college age, hot and dangerously sexy guy asks your name, it’s hard to remember to talk. So…I didn’t. I think I may have grunted.

Brandi giggled. I tore my eyes away from Becker and looked at her. I could see the resemblance. They both had those soft dark curls, kind brown eyes. Of, course Becker’s face wasn’t smiley and open like Brandi’s. No. He had that moody rocker sort of vibe.

I gulped. I was more a blue-eyed, blond-haired type of girl. But, damn. Becker’s dark, tanned skin just about had me panting.

Hm. I may have needed a break from dating. Hadn’t I just gotten totally played a few days ago? Was I really so quick to try it again?

“Stella, huh?” Becker said. “That’s an unusual name.” I caught his eyes in the mirror.

“Yeah. They were going to call me Becker, but they thought it was too common.”

He laughed. I squirmed.

“You’re not from around here, are you?” he asked, alternating his gaze between the street and my mouth.

“Nope. Arizona.”

“Hot.”

“Thanks.”

“No. I mean Arizona’s hot.” He chuckled.

“Oh, right.” Okay. This was fun. “My house is right up there,” I said, motioning to the two-story Craftsman. Then I gasped.

“That your boyfriend?” Becker asked, sounding a little disappointed.

On my porch, sitting on my stairs with his elbows resting on his knees, was Conner. Looking miserable. Adorable.

Brandi turned around to look at me wide-eyed. “Maybe he broke up with Trish.”

I stared out at Conner and he stood up as we pulled to the curb. That hot little bastard had no right being on my porch.

“Maybe I’ll see you around,” Becker said. I nodded absently and pushed open the door.

“Give him hell,” Brandi called after me.

I walked up the porch steps, hearing the car pull away behind me. Conner dropped down slowly, one step at a time until he was directly in front of me.

Then he reached out, grabbed my face, and kissed me.
.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

GOING GREEN

DAY 9

The rest of the day was like death. I pretended to be invisible in lunch, even though Brandi continued to try to “cheer me up” by letting me know that I wasn’t the first person Conner had cheated on his girlfriend with. It didn’t help.

Trish eyed me a couple of times from across the room, but I could tell she didn’t know. If she did, I was pretty sure she wouldn’t be grinning at me like she’d won the “hot guy” lottery. After all, her boyfriend’s tongue had been in MY mouth this weekend.

As the last bell of the day rang, I dragged my loser ass out of my Math seat and headed toward the buses. I stopped. Conner and Trish were making out in front of the school like it was their job. I thought I might throw up.

“Stella!” Brandi yelled.

I looked to my side to see her sitting on the half wall, waving to me. It would be a long walk home, but I would have rather stuck toothpicks in my eyes than walk by Conner and Trish. I walked to Brandi instead.

“You okay?” she asked, crinkling her nose. The air was crisp and I wrapped my arms around myself.

“I’ve been better.”

“Did you want a ride home? My brother’s picking me up.”

I looked back toward the buses but then just nodded. “Yeah. If you don’t think he’d mind. I really don’t have the energy to walk. And I certainly don’t have the energy to look at that asshole anymore.”

Brandi giggled. “Yeah.” She sighed. “I’ve said that once myself.”

My mouth opened in surprise. “You?” She waved her hand dismissively.

“Years ago,” she said. “No big.”

There was a horn beep and Brandi and I looked up at the same time. “There he is,” she said, grabbing my arm. We walked toward the black Honda Accord and I felt a little better. It was like I had a friend. I smiled.

“Becker,” she said to the guy in the driver’s seat. “This is Stella. We’re bringing her home.”

Heat warmed my cheeks and then he turned around. And I just about set on fire.

Shit. My only friend had a super hot older brother. This was bad. Very bad.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

GOING GREEN-The aftermath

DAY 9

Blame it on New Girl Stupidity. Friday night, I made out with Conner. First on top of a cliff, then later in his Jeep and for a brief second on my porch before my father opened the door, grabbed me by the sleeve, and yanked me inside.

Stupidity? No. The stupidity was when Saturday came; I waited on my porch. No Conner. Then Sunday. Hm. Still no Conner. The boy lived next door. Was it really possible for me to miss him? Did he have a secret tunnel or something?

Monday morning. Physics class. This should be interesting. Only it WASN’T interesting. It was awful. Conner, sweet, adorable-boy-next-door Conner, didn’t look at me. Like even once. In fact, the son of bitch put his palm on his face to block my view. I was humiliated.

Brandi nudged my shoulder. “You okay, Stella?” she asked. “You look positively nauseous.”

“Yeah,” I said, glaring in Conner’s direction. “I do feel like PUKING.” Conner straightened up, but didn’t look over. Bastard.

Brandi eyed me for a minute and then looked in his direction. “Oh,” she said, puckering her lips. “I see Conner has struck again.”

I turned sharply to her. “What?” My stomach was so knotted up, I felt like I’d just gotten done doing like a million crunches.

“He’s sort of…” Brandi bit on her lip, rolling her eyes to the ceiling. “He’s got somewhat of a reputation. There’s a pretty good reason why Trish is such a bitch.”

And then I knew. “She’s totally his girlfriend, isn’t she?” My face stung.

“Yep.” Brandi put her arm on mine. “For like two years.”

Shit. Oregon sucked.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

GOING GREEN-On the rocks

DAY 7

“I’m going to die. I’m going to die,” I mumbled as I clung for life on the side of the cliff.

“You okay?” Conner asked from below me. I was told not to look down, but I had to.

“Um…no.” I spotted him, grinning up at me. I was stuck. Too scared to go up or down. Man. Why couldn’t he have taken me out for ice cream or something?

“Hang tight,” he called. “I’m coming up.”

Well he’d better, otherwise I’d end up as the lead story on the eleven o’clock news. I heard the murmurs of several people below me, mostly laughing as I pressed my entire body to the rock wall. There were metallic clinks as Conner made his way up.

Finally he was next to me, breathing heavily. “Hi,” he said.

My heart was racing from the danger, but with staring at me like that, my stomach decided to flutter a little, too. “Do you always try to get girls killed on the first date?” I asked.

He smiled. “Only the ones I like.”

So, yeah. We were twenty feet in the air, totally flirting. “You do remember that you have a girlfriend, right?” I had to point it out. Not that I cared at this point.

“She’s not really my girlfriend,” he whispered. “We’ve known each other since kindergarten. She just likes for the other girls to think I’m off limits. Ego thing. I play along. I haven’t really been interested in anyone there anyway.”

Interesting. “And she’d be totally fine with you being here with me right now?”

“Hell, no,” he said, reaching over to clip something onto my harness. “She’s going to have a complete bitch fit.” He paused and looked me over. “That okay with you?”

Damn. He was beyond hot. “I told you,” I said. “I’m not a big fan of red heads.”

Next thing I knew, Conner was climbing above me, his ropes tied into mine as he helped me up the mountain. I’d love to say that it was fun. But it wasn’t. It was freaking scary.

But when I got to the top, I didn’t mind so much. Especially not when he leaned over, and kissed me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

GOING GREEN-Friday Night

DAY 7

About twenty seconds later, a red Jeep pulled up to my porch steps. Figured. Hot guys drove hot cars. He rolled down the passenger window and grinned.

“Well? Are you getting in or not?”

Tingles spread all over me and I looked back into the house. “Dad?” I asked. “You sure it’s okay if I go out for a while?” I sort of wanted him to say no. Something told me that this might be a really bad idea.

“Go,” my father said, waving his hand dismissively from the couch. “Even the maid gets a night off every once in a while.”

I smiled, thanked him and grabbed my coat before walking out the door. Man. This would end badly. And by badly, I mean awesomely but with bad aftershocks. Red headed ones.

As I got in, Conner turned to me. “You ever been rock climbing?”

I curled my lip. “Uh, hell no. Are you being serious?” He’d better be joking.

But instead he chuckled, shifted into gear, and drove toward town.

HE WASN’T KIDDING.

We were standing at the base of a rock wall on a hill just above the city lights. It was dark out, but there were groups of people, wearing helmets and shit, setting up lights and ropes.

“I’m not doing this,” I whispered as I stood next to Conner, watching the scene unfold. My pulse was racing with fear. I wasn’t really down for heights.

“Come on,” he said, pushing my shoulder. “It’ll be fun.” He batted his eyelashes playfully. “I brought an extra harness…” he sang.

Damn. He was adorable. But, it had to be said. “And where’s your girlfriend tonight?” Ew. I sounded bitchy.

He shrugged. “Don’t know.” He looked at me. “Why? Would you rather be on a date with her?”

Oh. My. God. This was a date? “Not really,” I said, trying to not to show him that I was nervous as hell. “I’m not really into red heads.”

He laughed, taking me by the arm and leading me toward the group suiting up. “Hey,” he called to them. “We’ve got a virgin here.”

I swung to face him but he was picking up a harness, stepping into it, looking like he’d done it a million times before. Two guys came over, wrapping stuff around me, talking to me about safety procedures.

I stared up the side of the rock. If I broke my neck tonight, I would be so pissed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

GOING GREEN

DAY 8

It was Friday night and I was sitting with my dad watching Wheel of Fortune. Worst part? Him yelling out the wrong answers every five flipping seconds. It used to irritate my mother, too. But that wasn’t the reason she left.

The doorbell rang. My dad and I exchanged a glance and then he nodded for me to answer it. I curled my lip.

“Do I look like the maid?”

“Maid’s clean,” my father said, taking a handful of popcorn. “So…no.”

I laughed and got up, shaking my head as I walked to the entryway. When I opened the door, my eyes widened.

“Hi, Stella,” Conner said, leaning on my doorframe, looking effortlessly sexy.

“H…hi.” Shit. Did I just stutter?

“Our power just went out. Can I get in your basement for a minute?”

“Why? My power’s on.” Although na outage during the bonus round would be super helpful right now.

“Yeah,” he chuckled. “These old houses,” he motioned behind him at the neighborhood. “Our electricity sort of gets tied in and stuff. Anyway, the guy that lived here before you tapped into our electricity. We fixed it, but sometimes our power still goes out. So I need to flip one of your switches.”

Flip my switch? I liked the sound of it. “Oh, okay.” I backed away from the door and as he walked past me, I sniffed him. He smelled GOOD.

“Hey, Sir,” Conner said, raising a hand to my father. My dad looked him over for a moment, maybe trying to figure out if he was my date. Then he said hi.

“He needs to get in the basement,” I said, stopping next to my hot neighbor. I looked down at his feet. They were in worn sandals and his jeans were shredded on the bottom from where they’d dragged on the ground.

“Oh,” my dad said, popcorn visible in between chews. “Your mom told me about that.”

Hm. Glad someone informed me.
I waited at the top of the stairs as Conner messed around with the contents of a hanging metal box. When he came up, I walked him to the door.

I paused there, standing in the doorway, pretending like it didn’t make me crazy to be this close to him.

He tilted his head. “Are you doing anything right now?”

My stomach flipped. “Not really.”

Conner grinned. “Grab your jacket. I’ll get my car.” Then, without another word, he spun around and jogged toward his house.

Stunned. Absolutely stunned. Did…did he just ask me out?

Working title: GOING GREEN

DAY 4

I was pretty convinced that the school lunchroom was a social experiment set up by the district. There was no other explanation for the cruelty involved in picking a table. I scanned the room, my tray heavy as it pointed out how lame it was to eat hot sliced turkey and gravy at the age of seventeen.

“Stella!” Brandi yelled, waving wildly from across the room. I sighed. Thank God. I thought I was going to have to eat by myself in the bathroom or something.

I walked slowly toward her table, glancing from face to face, recognizing only the blonde from Physics. The minute I sat down, everyone turned to stare at me.

“I’m Katrina,” the blonde said. “Where’d you transfer from?”

“Phoenix.”
“Wow,” Brandi said, sliding a can of soda toward me. “I bet that was awesome, all the sunshine and shit.”

“Yeah. It was nice.” There was a tug in my chest as I remembered my friends, my little stucco house…. my mom.

“Great,” Katrina mumbled, looking down. “Here comes the douche.”

My eyes snapped up to a petite, ridiculously pretty redhead walking toward us. Damn. She was pulling on the arm of Conner, dragging him behind her. The girlfriend.

“Hi, girls,” she said, looking between Brandi and Katrina. She was obviously ignoring me, but her grip on Conner’s arm was turning his skin white.

“Wow,” Brandi said, sounding completely fake. “I love your sweater, Trish.”

Trish’s sweater, although tight as hell, was a hideous color of green. I smiled.

“Thanks, Bran,” she answered, tossing her red curls over her shoulder and dropping Conner’s arm. Her dark brown eyes flicked to mine. “Who’s she?”

Okay. I had this thing. I got really pissed when people talked about me while I was right there. I wanted to answer, “I’m your worst nightmare, Bitch,” but I rolled my eyes instead.

“That’s my new neighbor,” Conner said, grinning adorably. My cheeks warmed.

Trish spun around to face him and then looked back at me. “You?” she asked sneering. “Live next door to my boyfriend?”

I laughed. Her fake tan just faded by three shades.

“What’s your name?” she asked me, adjusting into what could only be described as a battle stance.

“Stella,” I answered, locking her in my stare.

“Stella?” She laughed. “You sound like somebody’s grandma.”

“Uh, yeah. Well, I’m named after my grandmother.” I clenched my fist under the table.

“Obviously,” she said, smiling to herself. She looked around at the rest of the table and when no one said anything, she sucked at her teeth. “Whatever,” she said. “We’re sitting with Paul and them today anyway.” Her eyes narrowed on mine. “See you around, Stella.”

I stared at her as she stomped away. Conner stood for a minute at the end of our table, scratching at his blond curls. “Sorry,” he said. “She’s really not that bad.”

“If you say so.” Damn. He was seriously cute.

Conner nodded and then walked away, leaving me a little breathless, disappointed.

“So cool,” Brandi said, shaking her head.

“What?” I turned to her and saw her grinning from ear to ear.

“He likes you.”

“Who?” As if there hadn’t been an insanely hot guy talking to me thirty seconds before.

“Conner. Oh, man.” She giggled. “Trish is going to be so pissed.”
I twitched my nose, not answering, and instead poked the turkey on my tray with a spork. Let the bitchfest begin.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Untitled

DAY 4

“You totally think Conner is cute, right?” Brandi asked. Right. She didn’t whisper it, even though he was only a lab table away. She was loud.

“Uh…”

Conner chuckled. The girl in front of me turned around to wait for my answer. My cheeks were on fire with embarrassment. Them actually setting on fire would’ve been better because then I’d have a legitimate excuse to go running from the room.

“It’s okay,” the blonde in front of us said, sounding bored. “Everyone wants to do Conner.” She glanced at him. “Even some of the guys.”

I loved how this conversation was allowed to happen out loud. No educational interference. I glared toward the front, hoping for anything, even a detention, to deflect the question of whether I not I wanted to hump my neighbor.

Brandi leaned into me, twirling a long, dark curl around her finger. “He has a girlfriend, though,” she said in sad, wispy voice.

Damn.

“And she’s a total bitch.”

“Yeah she is,” the blonde echoed.

I twitched my nose, less embarrassed, more disappointed. Covertly, with all the slyness of a kindergartener with a crush, I looked sideways at Conner. He was resting his face in his palm, leaning on the table and staring at me. When I met his eyes, he straightened up and grinned.
Girlfriend. So not good.

Still Untitled Story Blog

DAY 4

Conner (AKA Hottie-Next-Door) had managed to keep a low profile over the next few days. He also managed to not clock me with a flying disc. My father was at the height of annoying as he tried to convince me that recycling was an important issue, especially here in Oregon, and that I needed to go more “green.” The only green I was, was with envy for my friends back in Arizona. At least their parent’s divorce didn’t result in a moving-west mentality.

Before I’d had the chance to properly adapt to the cool, cloudy weather, it was a school day. Luckily, it was only October so I hadn’t missed much. At least, I didn’t think I had until I walked into Physics class.

Awesome. One of those super awkward, stand-in-front-of-the-class-while-the-teacher-decides-the-best-person-to-stick-you-next-to moments. Against my better judgment, I looked up and glanced across the room. Conner waved.

I couldn’t help but smile as I dropped my eyes. Damn. He was adorable.

“Okay, Ms. Alvarado,” Mr. Powell said. “You’re partners with Brandi Templeton.” At the announcement there was a squeal and a clap. I jetted my eyes up, alarmed at the girl smiling and beckoning me over. She was pretty and everything, but news flash. Transfer students were notoriously EMO. So pairing me up with the captain of the pep squad was a bad deal.

Especially when she was sitting one table over from Conner.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

BLOG BOOK

I write a lot. It's sort of out of control sometimes, so I decided, rather than post random passages from my WIPs, I should just have a story for my blog. So I'm starting this. Just for here. Haven't thought of a title yet, so if you think of one, PLEASE let me know. :D I hope you like it:

DAY 1
Dad’s Honda broke down three times in three states. It was fun. Not. When we finally arrived in this godforsaken place, I believe the locals call it…Oregon, I almost didn’t get out of the car. I didn’t mind trees, but this was like the woods or something. At least the moving truck was already waiting at the curb. Yes. My magazines.

I’d hoped to find attractive moving guys, hauling heavy pieces of furniture as they flexed, but no such luck. It looked more like my Uncle Stanley and his poker buddies. I sighed. Then a Frisbee pegged me in the forehead.

“What the hell?” I reached up, rubbing at my skin, staring down at the bright blue weapon at my feet. There was laughing and by the time I looked up, there was a boy in front of me. A blond one with no shirt. Hm. This day just got interesting.

“Holy shit. I’m sorry,” he said, trying to purse his lips, keeping his smile hidden. I glared at him, not really annoyed but a little sore. I was sure there was a red line across my forehead because he kept glancing above my eyes.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Stella.”

“Conner,” he said, stretching out his hand. I took it and it was sweaty and hot. And by hot I mean sexy.

Conner ran his hands through his hair and then laughed. “Wow,” he said. “This is so cliché.”

“Uh, what is?” I hadn’t heard anyone other than my English teacher use the word cliché in a sentence. These Oregon kids must be smart.

“You know,” he said, leaning in like he was telling me a secret. “The cute girl next door.”

“Oh.”

And this was only my first day.