CHAPTER ONE  ~*~*~  Red Hot Babe

During the second last week of school before summer, Ryan Proud fell 50 feet down to the ground, from ‘most popular’ to something that was equal to The Black Plague. Nobody knew why exactly, but all the popular kids started avoiding him, and the rest of the student body followed expectantly. Every lunch hour he would sit by himself―all by himself―with an entire lunch table to his fancy. Nobody dared to talk to him―nobody even walked near him―afraid they might catch whatever it was he had suddenly caught overnight.

“It’s not fair that you get the whole lunch table to yourself,” I said as I put my lunch tray across from his. He was busily occupied writing on a piece of creased line-paper, ignoring the stares of everyone in the cafeteria.

Ryan jumped at my voice. I’ve never talked to him before, but I saw him around the school all the time. We were in the same grade and have had classes together since the beginning of elementary school, but he was Mr. Popularity, a complete hottie, and I was an average girl with an average height, average weight, average looks and an exaggerated hatred towards frills, lace and pink. I doubt he’s ever seen me before. “You’re not afraid of me?” He asked, his bright green eyes shimmering with astonishment.

“Should I be? Do you have cooties?” I asked sarcastically, with a roll of my eyes. Ryan chuckled, flashing me his infamous perfect smile. “So make me laugh, what did you do that was so bad that the kids you knew since kindergarten pushed you down the monkey bars in less than a day?”

He shrugged softy. “I might have done some... not so nice things. Said some... not so nice but honest things,” he replied, still laughing. He changed the topic quickly. “Your name is Dannielle, isn’t it?”

I smiled. “It’s just Dannie. How’d you know my name?”

He laughed―again that exhilarating smile. “We’ve been in the same class together since elementary school. I’ll admit that I know nothing about you, but I know your name at the very least.”

I took a bite out of my sandwich and pointed at the paper he was half hiding under his big, masculine hands. “What’re you writing about?”

He looked nervously at me and crumpled the paper up. “Just a couple of things I’ve got on my mind.” Ryan threw the paper ball in the air aiming for a nearby trash can, but I reached my arm up at that precise moment and effortlessly swiped the ball from the air. He clearly didn’t know I could beat any stupid boy at any sport, anytime, anywhere. “Hey! Don’t read that. You’re not supposed to read that. Give it back!”

His body flew up. He was tall and his body hovered over the table, hands flying for the crumpled ball in my hand. “No. No. No.” I teased in a sing song voice. Turning my back towards him, I spread the rough piece of paper out. “Let’s see what kind of secrets you wrote down. 10 things I want to do this summer.” I glanced at him with a smirk and a raised eyebrow and began reading his list. “Number 1: Eat one litre of ice cream.” I laughed, “Are you kidding me? What kind of list is this?”

Ryan gave up and sat back down; cupping both his cheeks in his hands as a pout swiftly adorned his face. “I guess I’ll let you read it,” he said as if he was the one doing me the favour, “since I haven’t talked to anyone but my parents and the teachers for the last week and a half.”