"Maybe you ate some bad steak." My mom gave me a worried look as she stood over my bed. She pressed her hand to my forehead and frowned. "You don't have a fever..."

I shook my head. "No, I don't think I do. I just have a stomachache... and cramps," I made up quickly.

Immediately my mom smiled with realization. "Ah. I understand completely. I'll call the school and let them know you'll be absent today then."

"Thank you."

"No problem, honey," my mom responded with a smile. "Rest up though. I'm sure Lance and Casey will be very disappointed if you can't go to the festival tonight."

"Oh crap! I forgot about that," I responded with a frown. "Yeah, I'll rest up then..."

My mom chuckled. "Okay. Make sure you eat something too. I've got to go to work now, so have a good day."

"You too, be careful," I said as she headed out of my room. "See you later."


As soon as she closed my bedroom door I fell back on my bed and pulled the covers over my head, feeling my face heat up. I was such a chicken! Eventually I'd have to go to school and face Mr. Heywood in class. But after last night, how could I act the same in class? To act as if he was only my teacher and nothing more? Could I do it? Surely it wouldn't be any different than before... except now I knew he thought of me as more than a student.

Erg. Why did Mr. Heywood have to be my teacher?

And why did I wait to have these feelings until now? When we were already in love with each other? I could have gotten used to them if I had them from the beginning! What if he looked at me in class? Obviously I was going to blush since I had a horrid habit of doing so.

A small groan erupted from me as I pressed my comforter harder into my face. Mr. Heywood and I didn't even have a chance to talk about what happened last night because my mom and Jeremy never left us alone again. I hadn't even looked at him after that- I was too embarrassed. I shook my head violently, trying to dismiss my thoughts. I needed more sleep, I could think about this later.

My phone ringing woke me up. It was a muffled sound I could barely hear. I glanced at my side table, wondering why my ring tone was so quiet. Then I remembered my phone was in the living room where I accidentally left it last night after eating. Pushing myself out of the warmth of my bed, I stomped down the hall way and down the stairs to where my phone was.

"Hello?" I mumbled sleepily, not bothering to check the caller I.D.

"Holly! It's my first day back in school and you're not here?" Lance demanded at once.

I pulled the phone away from my ear in surprise. "Ow, you don't need to yell."

"I'm not!"


Lance sighed. "Why aren't you in school?

"Umm," I hesitated, feeling my face heat up again. "You know... Girl problems."

"Say no more," Lance responded quickly.

I laughed. "Okay."

"Are you still going to the festival?"


"Okay, just making sure. Are you getting a ride, or should I pick you up?"

I shrugged, but then remembered he couldn't see me. "I don't know. I'll probably walk. The fair grounds aren't that far away and-"

"I'll pick you up," Lance interjected before I could finish. "It's too dangerous for you to be walking alone at night."

I frowned slightly. Now he was starting to sound like Mr. Heywood. And he didn't even know about the whole kidnap situation. "I can handle myself, Lance."

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