If Only  
  
            

Chapter 1

It was a wonderful bright and sunny summer in Retroville. Five teens decided to go to the lake one Saturday. Three of the young adults sat  on a soft blanket on the beach of the beautiful lake. One was rather  round wearing broad rim glasses and drinking lemonade. The other two  sat across from him, smiling sheepishly at each other.

“Uh, Sheen, do you, I don’t know... want to take a walk?” asked the 17  year old dark-skinned girl smiling brightly with a light shade of pink  unnoticeable across her cheeks.

“Does Ultralord have totally cool magma cannons?!” yelled the hyper 18  year old boy beside her. She looked at him in total confusion. “That  means yes...” he explained.

“Oh, then lets go! I need to get away from those two fighting.  It’s  giving me a headache!” she said as she took his hand, stood up, and  looked over at the two teens standing at the water’s edge. They stood  only about a foot from each other spitting insults and comebacks at one  another, unaware of how close they really were.

“Do you ever get the idea that maybe they just argue with each other  to mask their true feelings for each other?” asked Libby as she and  Sheen began walking down the beach away from the blanket. He simply  shrugged as they walked farther away from the arguing pair.

“What are you talking about, Neutron?!  Of course I can dive better  than you!” screamed the shapely 17 year old blond, fully dressed.

‘Oh I know you can’ thought the big headed brown haired 17 year old  boys’ genius. ‘It’s all part of my plan’ “Oh, yeah right, Vortex!” he  shouted in her face. “Then prove it!”

“I will!” she cried turning and heading to her bag on the beach  blanket. When she grabbed a skimpy pink bikini from her bag and a pair  of blue swim trunks from his bag and walked back to the genius, she  noticed a sly grin and his face. She brushed it off and snatched his  arm and began pulling him to the changing rooms. “We are going to change and then I will prove to you I am a much better swimmer and all  around a better athlete than you!”

“Whatever you say, Vortex,” he said enjoying the tingles in his arm and the fact that very soon he would be seeing her in a bikini. She led him to the boys changing room and handed him his bathing suit before turning and walking into the girl’s room. He quickly changed and hurried out to the girls changing room, anticipating her arrival. He leaned against the wall beside the door, listening to her moving about inside. Within a few moments she strolled out not noticing him.

“Where is Jimmy? He should be done by now,” she stated with a hint of annoyance in her voice. “Hmm, I wonder what he will look like in his bathing suit. He has grown since the last time I saw him without a shirt on,” she jumped when she heard a deep voice.  


Chapter 2

                                                                
“Why don’t you turn around,” Jimmy said in a seductive voice. He could not see the surprised look on her face until she turned around. His mouth gaped open when he saw her from the front. He started from the bottom and worked his way up. He noted her slender, muscular legs, then her curvy hips and slim waist. Her chest was not large but he figured her to be just below the regular size of women her age, yet that was fine with him. When he finally met her gaze, he noticed that she was doing the same that he was. A blush appeared on his cheeks at the note of her evaluating him, like he was doing to her. He began to wonder what she thought of him just before he gathered his voice.

“So, uh, you ready to head back?” his voice hovering just above a whisper.

“Huh? Oh, I mean, ... yeah,” she could feel her cheeks burning slightly and her heart flutter when she saw a small blush on his cheeks. ‘Was he checking me out? Did he notice me looking at him? I wish I knew how he felt about me...’ but her thoughts were interrupted when he spoke.

“Then lets go! I can’t wait to see your face when I prove that I can dive better than you!” he said brushing past her. She smiled and quickly turned and walked beside him. She did her best to not glance over at him. He did the same, but his feelings for her soon over took him and he turned his head slightly toward her, just enough so she would not notice him looking at her. He looked at her soft blonde hair falling over her shoulders and tried his hardest not to just reach up and stroke it. She had been wearing it down more often, ever since he told her he liked it down one day when she decided not to wear it in a ponytail. He noted her gentle skin and the twinkle in her emerald eyes. He yearned to just wrap his arms around her and kiss her glossy lips, but he knew she would slap him and push him to the ground like she did Nick when he tried to kiss her.

‘She beat Nick to a pulp for trying to kiss her, and she liked him, just imagine how she would act if her enemy trying to kiss her. I wouldn’t stand a chance, but I don’t blame him for trying. She is a goddess with the looks, and the brains,’ he thought to himself. That is what he liked the most about her, sure she was beautiful, but she was the only one who could come close to him intellectually. He loved everything about her, from her fiery temper that always turned him on, to her bravery that outmatched his by a long shot. You could say he admired her, but he knew it was love. But he was certain he didn’t have a chance with her. ‘Sure we have moments, but that’s just because we are always together. Actually, were inseparable, and I love it. I love her. I just wish I could find out how she really feels about me. Libby had said she has feelings for me, but I don’t think they could compare to the feeling I have when she is around. Maybe one day I will finally
tell her, and just maybe she will feel the same way... Yeah right!’ his thoughts were stopped short as she turned her head to look into his eyes.    

‘Wow, his eyes are so...so...beautiful. I could look into them forever,’ she thought as he smiled at her and they continued walking. ‘He’s smiling! Wait, was he looking at me again?’

“What are you looking at, Neutron?” she said a little too hurtful. She soon regretted it.


Chapter 3

“You,” he simply stated. He was shocked by his truthfulness. Her eyes widened.“I, uh, mean...” but she cut him off and her next words surprised him. He was sure she would be upset with him looking at her.

“It’s okay. I do look good in this bikini,” she smiled and paused for a moment, obviously thinking. “What do you think?” her voice reaching a whisper.

“About what?” he asked, even though he had heard her and knew what she was referring to, but didn’t want to embarrass himself.

“Nothing...” her eyes leaving his sapphire ones and becoming interested in the sand, they walked upon. She ached inside for him not responding because she was positive she spoke loud enough for him to hear her. But at the same time was afraid of his answer. ‘What if he doesn’t feel the same way? I don’t think I could handle it if he said something mean ... and I can never let him see me cry, he would probably point and laugh. I don’t feel like having my heart broke today.’

“You really want to know what I think...” he trailed off, waiting to see if she sincerely wanted to know. If she did, he would make himself tell her exactly what he thought, even if she used it against him. He just hoped that maybe she would appreciate it and take it a sign of his affection for her.

“Yes, I really would... Jimmy,” she quietly responded. She hoped that just maybe using his first name he would take it as a sign that she didn’t want to be tortured today and that she truly cared. He took a deep breath and stopped a few feet from Carl and the beach blanket, turning to face her. She stopped and faced him also. He gulped as he looked into her eyes and thought about how she would react to his answer. ‘Well I lived a fulfilling life...’ he opened his mouth but the words did not form. After a few moments of silence, he could see the disappointment in her eyes and it pierced his heart.

“I think you look, um, really-” he started but as usually was cut short by some sort of interruption.

“Hey guys! Do you know where the mayonnaise is?” Carl asked very politely, looking up at them, like he thought he was not disrupting anything. But that quickly changed when Jimmy glared at him and Cindy head dropped and she closed her eyes.

“Uh, never mind,” Carl said and went back to his sandwich. Jimmy sighed when he glanced at Cindy.

“Hey, Carl, do you know where Sheen and Libby are?” he asked, trying to ease the pain.

“They went for a walk. They will probably be back before dark.” Carl plainly stated. “Are you going swimming?” he asked noticing them in their bathing suits.

“Oh, yeah, I almost forgot! Cindy and I will be at the pier if you need us. I have to prove that I can dive way better than her!” he responded and smiled when she lifted her head and smirked at him.

“Okay, we’ll see you later, Carl.” she said to Carl as she grabbed Jimmy by the wrist and began dragging him once again. “I got to go show Neutron here that girls are way more athletic than boys. Especially boys with big heads.” she said over her shoulder and grinning evilly at Jimmy, who was blushing at her touch. When they got to the pier, she looked at him and saw that he was still blushing, yet raising his eyebrow skeptically at her. Then she realized she was still holding his wrist and quickly let go as it dropped to his side. Little did either know that inside both were enjoying the feel of each others skin, but neither would ever admit it.

“Sorry...” she responded, but after she said it she wasn’t sure why she had. Maybe she was sorry that he may never know how she feels or maybe she was apologizing to herself. He couldn’t possibly know how she felt and she was sorry for dropping so many hints and even with him being a genius, he still didn’t understand her true motive for arguing and competing with him all these years.

 “Yeah, sorry for having to kick your butt...not!” she teased him and walked to the edge of the pier, then looked down at the water. She saw a reflection in the water and looked closely at it. She saw a young green-eyed girl with blond hair cascading down her shoulders and a thin frame, to her left see saw another reflection, a young man. She gazed at the boy with brown hair and the most dazzling blue eyes she had ever had the pleasure to look into. The boy with the huge IQ and the gentle touch to match his compassionate nature, putting himself in danger to protect those he cared for the most. The boy that stole her heart with his kind and caring personality. The boy that no matter how much she tortured and teased, still wanted to be her friend. ‘If only I could just tell him how much he means to me... if... that word itself stabs my heart, the word of so many possibilities...’ tell him’ said a voice deep inside her ‘I can’t’ why not? ‘ what if he doesn’t feel the same way’ what if he does? ‘how could he’ how couldn’t he? ‘stop it! leave me alone!’ when you tell him...’  the voice soon faded into her subconscious ‘ok,’ she told herself. But during her argument with herself she did not feel his soft hand on her shoulder. When she did return, she could feel the tears threatening to come to the surface, but her pride forced them away. Still not noticing his hand on her shoulder, she sat down on the edge of the pier, her toes touching the top of the water.

“Cindy... are you okay?” he asked as he sat beside her. She could feel the concern in his voice and her breath caught in her throat. ‘He...he...cares... no, he is just a good friend,’ she took a deep breath and collected her thoughts.

“I guess, I was just thinking...” she turned to face him and stare into his deep blue eyes. His caring smile was all she needed. “So, Neutron, you ready to show me how good you really are?” and with that she stood up and placed her hands on her hips and flashed him a smile. His insides melted as he gazed up at her, the sunlight hitting her just right.  

“You know, Cindy, I never told you what I thought...” he said without actually thinking, but he didn’t regret saying it after seeing the happy gleam in her eyes.

“So, your thinking for once,” she said with a grin plastered on her face. “I would love to know...” she paused, “what you think of me...” she stated placing her hands behind her back but not breaking her gaze on him. His heart stopped for a brief second before speaking.


Chapter 4


“I think you look really...” he took a quick  look all around to make sure no one was around to get in the way. He then whispered the last word in her ear, “...hot,” and as soon as he said it he could feel his cheeks go up in flames as the biggest and most wonderful smile he had ever seen came across her face. And before he could do or say anything she flung her arms around his neck in a loving embrace. He stood perfectly still for a moment taking in everything and soon wrapped his
strong arms around her and pulled her close to him. Without thinking what she may think, he nestled his face in her soft hair. Her heart fluttered and began beating wildly when she felt him nuzzle her neck. She didn’t ever want to let go, but slowly they pulled apart and stood timidly in front of each other. He was too happy to blush as he rubbed the back of his neck. She looked over him and merely folded her arms across her chest with a mischievous smile.

“So, hot, huh?” she said as she caught his blush.

“I always thought you were pretty...,” he said as he smiled shyly.

“Oh, thanks, Jimmy...” as she unfolded her arms and turned to look out onto the water. “But don’t think I will go easy on you,” she said and then dove into the cool water. His heart soared as she motioned for him to dive. He glanced down at her and then took his best dive position, with his hands above his head in a v-shape, and puffing out his chest to show her his somewhat muscular torso, he dived into the water beside her. When he resurfaced, he slicked his hair back out of his eyes.
Floating in the water, he noticed the look she was giving him.

“What?” he said liking the fact that she was looking at him.

“Nothing... it’s just... you look, uh, different with your hair like that...” she gave him a smirk before finishing, “I like it,” and as soon as the words came out of her mouth she playfully splashed him. He was taken back by her words for a moment before he splashed her back.

“You think so,” he asked with a raised eyebrow. He couldn’t believe what she had just said, but it was killing him inside to find out if she really meant it.

“Now your asking me what I think, don’t push it, Neutron,” she said before splashing him in return.

“I’ll take that as a... yes!” and she just merely giggled at his response as his stomach did flips hearing her fluffy laughter.  He splashed her one last time before he began floating on his back across the lake, as she swam to a swallower part to collect shells. He drifted away into a daydream while staring into the sky. He could see her beautiful angelic face with the glossy lips he so pined to kiss. He was torn away from his dream by a sweet voice.  ‘Jimmy’ it said. ‘Jimmy!’ it said a little louder.

“Jimmy!” he could hear her voice echo across the lake. He quickly snapped from his dream, dreading the worst. ‘Oh no! Why is she yelling for me? Is she in trouble?’ Without thinking he began swimming toward her voice. He hadn’t notice how far he had drifted. He could see her and the shore line in the distance. She was floating with only her head and shoulders showing, looking around desperately for him. He didn’t see her in any sort of danger, but swam quickly to her nonetheless. As he neared her, relief washed over their faces.

“Are you okay? Why were you shouting for me?” he asked as he swam up to her and floated in front of her. When he looked into her eyes, he thought he saw a tear, but considered it as just water.

“Oh, thank god, you’re alright!” she breathed in relief. “I didn’t want you drifting too far...,” she gave him a caring smile. “I was afraid something might happen to you...” then she looked away, “The world needs you,” then she looked into his bright blue eyes once again. All he could do was sigh and give her a smile. He slowly swam toward her. She was a little taken back by his action and being so close to her, but she stayed where she was. He swam closer and closer to her until his face was only a few inches from hers. Her heart beat quickened at the thought of what he might do. But as he got closer instead of his lips moving onto hers like she had wished, they moved past her cheek to her ear and he spoke three words.

Chapter 5

“Race you back,” he whispered and her heart sunk after hearing his words. She peered down at the water, not paying attention to what may happen next. While pulling his lips away from her ear, he placed a gentle kiss upon her cheek and before she could protest, he quickly swam toward the pier. In astonishment, she placed her hand on the cheek, where he had placed a warm kiss. She could feel the burning feeling of his lips and floated in the water for a few moments watching him swim away toward the pier.

 ‘He kissed my cheek... why? He has kissed my cheek before, but... I don’t know, this time was different,’ she thought as she watched him reach the pier and hang on the ladder, resting and slowly lowering his eyelids, smiling to himself. As soon as she collected herself, she squealed on the inside. ‘I can’t wait to tell Libby! She’s gonna freak!’ and she made her way toward the pier.                                        

‘Here she comes... don’t panic, what could she possibly do? It’s just Cindy... oh, yeah...Cindy, the karate champion! Great... what if she is upset? Should I try to run? No, I can’t outrun her,’ a small voice inside him spoke, ‘what if she isn’t ‘huh? Of course she will be upset!’ she may not be ‘what do you know’ more than you think ‘how?’ tell her...’ the voice soon faded away. ‘Ok’  After his talk with himself, he looked up to see Cindy already on the pier looking down at him, smiling.

“Hey you,” and when she spoke his heart skipped a beat.

“H-hey, how did you get up there without me seeing you?!” he asked and she shrugged.

“You were daydreaming, or something. What were you thinking about?” she asked with puppy dog eyes. He felt his heart melt at the attractive view he had of her with the sun laying a soft glow upon her gentle features. He was at a loss for words and he wasn’t sure how she would react to the truth.

“Oh, uh...” he had no idea how to explain to her his thought process, much less how to tell her what he feels for her. Only one thing came to
mind. “Are you upset that I kissed you...” his eyes trailing down to the shiny water surface, too afraid to look at her, much less listen to her response that he was sure would tear him in two, if she didn’t do that herself.

“Why would I be upset, Jimmy? I know we argue, but we are still friends, aren’t we?” he couldn’t believe it, she wasn’t yelling. ‘Maybe I have a chance after all,’ he thought, but she soon cut in. “To tell you the truth... I kinda liked it,” he still couldn’t believe his ears. ‘Did she say what I think she said?’ he asked himself. He just hung there on the ladder looking up at her lying on the pier on her stomach gazing down at him with a pleasant smile on her face, his mouth agape. The words he said next not only shocked him but amazed him at how well he could say them.

“Can I take you for a walk after dinner? I want to tell you something important and I know just the place,” he said as he slowly ascended up the ladder toward her. She sat up as he reached the top of the ladder and smiled at her. To him it looked like she was thinking about her answer but little did he know.

‘Did he just ask me on a date? Am I dreaming? What does he need to tell me? Wow, I definitely need to talk to Libby. Oh yeah, he’s waiting for an answer...’ he watches her as she utters a sigh, ‘if only he could know what I was thinking, he could see my answer... ugh, that word... if...,’ she smiles brightly at him, “I would love to,” she answers with happiness in her voice that pierces his heart. Not being able to take his eyes off her, he climbs the rest of the way up, onto the pier and stands above her, holding out his hand. She gladly takes it and he helps her up. They stand hand in hand for a moment before she begins to pull her hand away, but he gently squeezed it and began leading her up to the beach and over to the blanket where Sheen and Libby are. The entire way both could feel the tingles in their hands. As they reach the blanket, he softly lets her hand slide from his and walks over to Sheen and sits next to him, who is beside Libby. She gives Cindy a knowing look as she turns to her best friend, who is putting a towel around her waist.

“Hey girl, what’s going on?” Libby asks with a sly grin on her face. Cindy looks over at the two boys quietly chatting.

“Can we talk, somewhere else?” she asks looking back at her best friend with a slight sign of fear in her voice. Libby notices and nods as they get up and walk over to the girls bathroom not too far from the boys. As soon as they enter Cindy starts talking.

“Libby, I have so much to tell you! Today was great! We got along almost all day!” Libby just smiled as she continued, “Well, after you left Jimmy and I went to get changed so we could go swimming and guess what!? He said my bikini looked hot!” she practically screamed. Libby’s eyes grew wide with excitement.

“What!? No way! Well, you do look cute, are you sure he said hot,” when she said this Cindy gave her a disapproving smile.

“Yes! And after that we were in the water and he kissed my cheek!” and this time Cindy squealed with delight.

“Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me!?” cried Libby, taking Cindy’s hands in her own.

“I know! And that’s not the best part! He asked me on a date!” but this time Cindy literally screamed the last sentence and threw her arms in the air. Then collected Libby’s hands once again and whispered to her, “He has something he wants to tell me and he said it is important...” Cindy looked deeply into her best friends brown eyes, silently asking for help. Libby took a deep breath before answering.

“Okay girl, listen up. If he asked you on a date, then what he wants to tell you has to be good...” but before she could finish Cindy cut in.

“But what if it isn’t? What if he says he has and girlfriend and we can’t be together? What if he doesn’t feel the same way? What if he has horrible news, like he is going to college early or something? What if-” but Libby cut her rambling short.

“If, if, if, what did I tell you about that word! Every time you use it, you use it negatively, what if he doesn’t have a girlfriend and wants to be together? What if he does feel the same way? What if he has good news? Did you ever think of that? You need to stop thinking so darn negative!” and after her speech, Libby notices a tear coming from Cindy’s eye “Oh, girl I’m sorry...”

“No, your right Libby, thanks,” she replies and pulls her best friend into caring hug. When they pull away, Libby hands her a tissue.

“You don’t want Jimmy to see you crying, do you?” Libby says as Cindy blows her nose and wipes away a few escaping tears.

“No,” she replies softly and wipes most of her tears away, “I don’t, but um, Libby? What did you and Sheen do today?” she asks wiping away the last of her tears and gaining her composure. Libby smiles and tells her about her day with Sheen. How they went for a walk and sat on the beach, looking out over the lake in each others arms. About how Sheen told her that she was his Ultra queen in his life and he deeply cared for her.

“Wow, Libs, you had an exciting day too, huh?” and with that said both girls began giggling like little school girls. They gave each other one last reassuring hug before changing into their regular clothes and heading out the door. When they arrived back at the blanket, they found the boys already dressed. Jimmy in a short sleeve dark blue shirt with his atomic logo in white on the center of it with a pair of comfortable jeans and clean white shoes. Sheen still hadn’t outgrown Ultralord, but
now wore a blank short sleeve green shirt and baggy black jeans with his signature blue sneakers. And Carl had returned with the goofiest smile on his face.

“So Carl, how did your day go?” asked Libby while helping Sheen load the beach chairs and some other materials they brought into his blue car.

“I met the nicest girl in the world and I’m taking her to a buffet later,” he replied while packing the last of his things into the trunk of his car. “Is it okay if I don’t go to dinner with you guys like I said I would?” he asked opening the door to his pale orange car.

“Of course, Carl. Go and have a good time,” replied Jimmy as he helped Cindy load the cooler into the trunk of his red convertible. “We’ll meet you guys at the restaurant at eight, after I pick up Cindy,” he told Libby and Sheen before waving goodbye and getting into his car. He waited as Cindy threw her bag into the back seat and got into the passenger’s seat. She closed the door and put on her seatbelt while he started the car. Jimmy waited as his friends pulled out and headed toward downtown Retroville. He turned to her as he spoke.

Chapter 6


“Do you mind if I stop somewhere? I’ll only be a minute. I have to pick something up,” he asked with a soft voice, hoping not to get on her bad side. She just smiled and nodded in response. “Thanks,” he said as he backed out and drove away from the lake, heading into town. An unbearable silence came between the lovers. She couldn’t take it anymore.

“Jimmy, you don’t have to pick me up you know. I’m capable of driving to the restaurant myself,” she said as she looked out the window.

“Yes, Vortex, I know, but we live directly across the street from each other. There is no point in us taking two vehicles to the same place,
besides I want to pick you up...” and he paused before continuing, “There’s somewhere special I want to take you after dinner, remember?” he asked with unbelievable affection in his tone and not taking his eyes off the road, yet feeling her eyes wander up and down him.  

“Of course, how could I forget,” she said and sighed deeply at the thought of where he may take her. She began to daydream as she gazed at
him, watching his eyes scan the road ahead of him, listening to his easy, soft breathing, and his gentle hands caressing the steering wheel, the same hands she longed to have fondling her hair and strong arms wrapped around her, holding her and taking away all her fears.
‘Maybe I’ll tell him tonight... yeah, tonight...’ but her thoughts were cut short when he parked the car in the parking lot at the mall. He smiled at her before he got out of the car and gently closed the door. She watched him as he activated his hover shoes, floating in the air a few seconds, and winked to her before flying off in the direction of his destination. She waited in the car for a few moments before her patience could last no longer, and looked into the backseat at his red beach bag. In one quick movement, she grabbed his bag and tore open the zipper. Her eyes searched the inside of the bag before she caught a glimpse of what looked like a small leather book. ‘That’s just like Neutron to bring a book to the beach,’ she thought, but when it accidentally flipped open, she noticed his handwriting on the thin
white pages. Soon curiosity got the better of her as she opened the small journal on her lap and read to herself the writing on the first page.

‘ Dear journal,
        I have been having a lot of crazy mixed up emotions lately and Carl
suggested since I didn’t want to talk about them that I write them down
somewhere. At first I thought it was ludicrous for man of science to
write down his feelings in a stupid girly diary, but the more I thought
about it more logical it sounded. I guess I might as well get down to
the point, since your going to be holding my deepest thoughts and
secrets. Yes, the source of my anxiety, as you most likely imagined, is
a girl. The most beautiful female I have ever seen and the smartest
woman I have ever met. She makes me smile, but at the same time frown.
She confuses me beyond comprehension and yet I dream of her. And
because I’m going to be talking about her a lot, I should just go ahead
and tell you who this mystery girl is. She is my green-eyed angel,
C...’
but before she could read the name she heard a familiar humming sound and her eyes snapped up to the window to watch Jimmy’s feet slowly descend toward the pavement. Her eyes grew large and as quickly as she could, she threw the book into the bag and tossed it into the backseat just as he opened the door. She tried to stay calm as he climbed into the car and placed a rather small brown bag on the seat between them. She looked questionably at him as he started the car and began driving out of the parking lot, toward home.

“That wasn’t long,” she stated as she tried to cover the nervousness in her voice and peered over at the small bag, curiosity once again pouncing on her. She was startled when he spoke.

“I told you I would only be a sec,” he told her, not taking his eyes off the road, yet acknowledging her presence nonetheless. But out of the corner of his eye he could see her slowly reaching for the bag that sat beside him on the seat. And without a moment to spare in one quick fluid motion, he snatched the bag up in his hand and rested it on his lap in protection. She scowled at her misfortune of not being quicker like she planned.

“What’s in the bag?” she asked with the best innocent sound in her voice that she could muster in a situation like this. And batting her eyelashes, she hoped to get an answer from the genius and her long time crush.


Chapter 7

“Oh, nothing, really,” he responded, fighting the urge to tell his secret to her now. The secret that lies in his lap. The secret that was written as clear as day on thin white paper. The secret of his love for the one beside him. And without another word he focused his eyes back on the road.

“Okay, I just thought it might be important by the way you snapped the bag up like that, maybe... like you are hiding something,” she questioned with a hint of suspicion in her tone. ‘Hmm... something important must be in that bag, and I need to figure out what,’ she told herself while peeking over at that big secret concealed in a small bag. He did not respond, but simply tried his hardest to ignore her as she stared at the object in his lap. After a few moments of her eyes locked on his lap, her eyes began to drift upward. She scanned his lean waist and toned stomach and worked her way even higher when she analyzed his muscular chest beneath his black shirt and intense arms. While she examined him, she wondered what it would be like to run her hands over his appealing body. The thought aroused her and she silently snapped out of it, drawing her attention to his opened beach bag in the seat directly behind him.

‘Uh oh, what if he finds out I was reading his personal journal? He will never speak to me again. What am I going to do?’ and at this thought she mentally cursed herself, ‘I wonder who that girl is he was talking about? Great... just great... now I have to find out what’s in that bag and that journal! This boy is so confusing!’ she began to grow angry at her own thoughts and the questions she needed answered, ‘Why do I even care!? He’s probably talking about his dream girl,’ and even at the thought of her name she clenched her fists in anger, ‘Betty Quinlin!’ and without even realizing, it a tiny growl lingered in her throat, ‘I hate that no good, flirty, boy stealing, son of a b-’ but before she could think another word, Jimmy’s voice floated to her ears.

“You okay?” he questioned with concern apparent in his voice. She calmed down at the sound of his kind voice. Because she had been lost in her own world, she hadn’t noticed that they were parked in her driveway. The bag still in his lap, he had let go of the steering wheel and turned himself in the seat to face her. She looked up into his blue eyes and smiled.

“I’m fine, but... thanks,” she replied with a bit of hesitation. He gave her a confused expression before answering.

“You’re welcome,” he responded and turned to open his door, but before she could lean over and open her door, he spun back around and placed his attention back on her. “Wait, thanks? For what?” he asked. She was a little taken back by his outburst and wasn’t sure if she should tell him the real reason.

‘For being there for me, whenever and wherever I need you’ she thought, but her mouth had other plans. “You know, for everything, I
guess,” she stuttered before continuing. She looked into his eyes and felt her insides melt. “Jim, you may not think so by the way we fight and argue, and our past...and us being enemies and all... but you’re one of my best friends... I don’t know what I’d do without you,” she explained and after the words came out, she was a little surprised she had said what she did. Although, she did feel a little bit better that some of what she was feeling came out, but inside she knew it was not enough. His eyes widened mildly at her answer, yet in a short amount of time, his surprised expression was lost and it molded into a dreamy, faraway look as he gazed into her green pools for eyes. And for some reason he couldn’t muster up the energy to speak. She gave him another exquisite smile.

“Thanks for the ride,” she said, breaking the silence. “See you later, I can’t wait,” and as she said goodbye she carefully leaned across the seat and planted an endearing kiss on his mildly pink boyish cheek. He turned a deeper red as she giggled and climbed out of the car and grabbed her things from the back seat. He watched her walk in front of the car and across the yard to her house carrying her small beach bag, her hips swinging with each step, her fluffy hair bouncing over her
shoulders, and he couldn’t help but stare. She placed her things on the steps and dug out a key from her purse. She looked over at Jimmy, and caught him fixated on her. She smiled gleefully and waved at him as he rolled down his window and waved back. She was not far away and they could hear each other perfectly when they spoke in a normal tone.

“I’ll be back later...” he said to her and he gazed at her a moment before speaking aloud to himself, “So cute,” She smiled and blushed as he started up the car. She thought he may not be able to hear her if she spoke again but with slight hesitation she picked up her bag and said one last thing before opening the door and walking in.

Chapter 8


“He’s adorable,” she said to no one in particular. But he caught every word. He thought about what she said while backing out of her driveway and into his just across the street. ‘Adorable’ the word echoed throughout his head as he put the car into park in his driveway. He sat there for a moment in deep thought, rubbing his chin. ‘She thinks I’m adorable... no, she couldn’t. Did she know what she said?’ his mind went blank for an instant while he fought to find an answer, ‘no, she
couldn’t have meant it, could she have? Maybe she meant to say it to herself and I just overheard it and that means...’ when he can to the realization of her neatly spoked words for the first time since he heard her mummer them, he leapt from the car in joy. He danced in his driveway like a little girl getting a pony for her birthday and pumped his fists in the air.

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” he screamed completely unaware of anyone else around him. He stopped when Goddard came running up to him and jumped on him, knocking him into the grass of his lawn. Him and his metal canine rolled on the ground for a few seconds before Jimmy scooped up his best invention in his arms and stood up. “You’ll never believe the great day I had today, Goddard!” he told his dog before setting him on the ground and gathering his things from the car. He locked the car and led Goddard to the front door. When he reached his front door, he turned and faced the pink house across the street. He sighed in triumph and walked into the house with Goddard on his heels. He greeted his parents and grabbed a purple flurp from the refrigerator before crashing down on the couch. He turned on the tv and relaxed. He already had his apparel and everything he would need for tonight in his room and he knew it would only take him a maximum of an hour to get ready for the dinner with his friends and his love. Yet, he knew little about what was going on across the street.

“Oh, Cindy! I love your hair!” screeched Libby in excitement when she was done curling her best friend’s hair. Cindy’s blonde hair now bounced freely in loose curls as the girls finished their makeup. A few hours later the girls were dressed and ready. Libby wore a shimmering pink dress that flowed just around her ankles, her hair out of its usual braids and now pencil straight and just below her shoulders. Cindy on the other hand wore a strapless black dress just below her knees, showing off her curvy build and hoping to catch the eye of a certain young man. Sheen showed first and gawked over Libby for a few minutes before he led her out of Cindy’s house and into his car, driving off to the restaurant to reserve the seats. A knock on her door was heard shortly afterwards. She took a deep breath and checked herself in the mirror one last time before opening the door.

“Hello, Jimmy,” she greeted rather pleasantly. His jaw dropped when she opened the door. She smiled to herself when his eyes traveled from her feet and up to meet her gaze. Standing in the doorway, he looked over her once more before gaining his composure and somehow finding his voice.

“Wow, Cindy... you look... wow,” he breathed as he gazed upon her hair. “Cindy... your hair...it’s incredible.  I’ve never seen it like that... amazing.” he complimented with a dreamy look as she shrugged.

“I guess so,” she replied and looked down at the ground trying to hide the blush coming across her face. You could say that out of pure love, he took a step closer and he gently placed his fingers under her chin and lifted her gaze back to his.

“You look gorgeous and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. I’m honored to be escorting the prettiest girl I know to dinner,” he responded as he tucked a few loose stands of blond behind her ear and grinned at her. She giggled at his touch and smiled back at him. She noticed his handsome black tux and shined shoes. Along with his hair perfectly styled hair in his signature curl that she fell for many years ago.

“You don’t look too bad yourself, Neutron. And don’t think sweet talking me means I’m paying part of the bill,” she remarked and placed her hands on her hips, giving him a sly grin.

“Oh, no. Of course not, Cindy,” he said in defense, waving his hands in front of him. “I meant what I said,” and without taking his eyes off her, he offered her his arm. “Ready to go?” he asked. She grabbed her purse and laced her arm around his.

“Yeah, lets get going. You know how impatient Sheen and Libby can get,” she said and yelled over her shoulder to her mother, “Bye mom, be back later!” andclosed the door behind her. He led her down her few steps, and across her lawn to his red car, opening her door for her. Once she was in, he closed her door, walked around to the driver’s side and got in. In a few minutes, they were on the road on their way to the fancy diner downtown, right along the lake. The silence was deafening and Jimmy couldn’t help but glance over at her. When she was looking out the window, he quickly activated the autopilot, after all he was a genius and had programmed Vox into his modified ride, so they would arrive safely. But she didn’t know this and when she caught him staring at her, she gave him a questioning look.

Chapter 9

“Eyes on the road, mister. I want to reach the restaurant in one piece, thank you.” she retorted with a sneer, crossing her arms. But a confused expression soon formed on her face when he began laughing. “What the heck are you laughing at? Do you want to get into an accident?” she questioned but he just kept laughing. “Are completely insane!” she cried and waved her hands in the air when he took his hands off the wheel to clutch his sides. But he stopped when he noticed
the fear entering her eyes.

“Don’t worry, Cin. It’s on autopilot, Vox is driving. I thought it could give us a chance to talk. Besides, I was too distracted to keep my eyes on the road anyway,” he replied and she breathed a sign of relief.

“Oh, okay. Just don’t scare me like that anymore, Neutron, or I may have to beat you up. Even if you are my ride,” she told him and gave him a teasing smirk. “So, um, I was wondering...did you mean it when you said I was pretty?” she asked while twirling her hair around her finger. The question caught him slightly off guard but he replied calmly.

“No,” he simply stated and she cringed in pain. ‘Of course he didn’t mean it! How could you be so stupid, Vortex?!’ she screamed inside her head as her eyes began to water. She looked down, too ashamed and embarrassed to look him in the eye. He leaned across the seat and took her hand in his. “I think you’re more than pretty,” he stated, like it was a fact and her face lit up with joy. Small tears of happiness began spilling over as she gazed into his deep blue eyes. He gently wiped away a tear rolling down her cheek with his thumb. And leaned in toward her.

‘It’s now or never,’ he thought as he watched her lean in toward him and close her eyes. His heartbeat quickened as he closed his own eyes. But, like always, the moment was lost when the car suddenly pulled to a stop. An artificial voice flowed through the vehicle as the couple slowly leaned back.

“Destination fulfilled, Mr. Neutron,” Vox stated and automatically opened the doors. Jimmy sighed in defeat as he climbed out of the car. He felt the pocket of his coat in reassurance as he closed the door and locked the car before walking up to Cindy, who was already standing at the door of the restaurant waiting for him. She smiled sympathetically at him as he approached and opened the door for her. Once inside, they soon found their friends talking and sitting across from each other at
a booth with an overlook of the lake. Jimmy sat beside his hyperactive friend and Cindy beside Libby.

“Hey, Jim. What took you so long?” Sheen asked while wiggling his eyebrows and gesturing toward Cindy. Jimmy just rolled his eyes and picked up a menu. Sheen noticed but continued anyway, “Cindy looks nice, but did you see my hot date?” he said peering over at Libby. Jimmy lowered his menu and glanced at Libby.

“Yeah, Sheen.” Jimmy replied uninterested and continued looking over his menu, then suddenly he slapped it down on the table and jerked his head toward Sheen. “Wait, did you say date?” he asked raising a questioning eyebrow.

“Yup, why? Didn’t Libby tell you this was a double date?” responded Sheen pointing his thumb toward Libby.

“No!” exclaimed Jimmy and threw his hands in the air. “This is just great, Sheen! I wanted to ask Cindy on a real date! And now our first date is a set up double date! Thanks a lot, you guys!” shouted Jimmy and crossed his arms over his chest and glared at Libby before turning away from the group. Cindy just sat there in shock at Jimmy’s outburst. Then, Libby turned to Sheen with an angry stare before reaching across the table and hitting him on the arm.

“Sheen, I said this wasn’t a double date! And I told you Jimmy would be upset if you told him it was!” yelled Libby at her small-minded boyfriend. “I explained to you how important this night was and now you ruined it!” she shouted before moving her attention to Jimmy. “Sorry, Jim. You just want to ask her now?” Libby asked with pleading eyes. Jimmy took a deep breath and relaxed, turning back to everyone.

“That’s okay, I’ll take her after we eat.” stated Jimmy and picked his menu back up. Cindy, who hadn’t spoken three words since she sat down, now sat across from Jimmy in total confusion. She turned to her best friend for help.

“Libby, what’s going on?” whispered Cindy only loud enough for Libby to hear.

“Uh, well I’m not suppose to say anything but...” Libby whispered in her ear in return and hesitated before speaking again, “Jimmy called me and told me he asked you out and asked for some pointers. Jimmy also talked to me about where he wanted to take you after dinner and see what I thought about the location. But Sheen overheard me talking to him on my cell and suggested a double date, but Jimmy said he wanted his first date with you to be special.” Libby explained with a look of
sympathy as Cindy blinked with a mix of shock and confusion. But before long the waiter walked up to the table and broke the tension. As he took their orders, Cindy just sighed in frustration

‘Stupid Sheen, now Jimmy will be too embarrassed to even look at me! I have to think of something to get his attention but nothing too open,’ she thought to herself but was soon interrupted by the waiter asking her what she wanted. After she ordered, silence fell over the table, but knowing these characters, Sheen couldn’t take it anymore and began blabbing about Ultralord and how nice Libby looked. Jimmy just smirked at his best friends antics, but he was suddenly overcome by a strange,
yet sensational feeling along his leg. His breath caught in his throat and he stiffened in his seat when his brain came to the conclusion of this feeling. Cautiously, he peered over at Cindy who had her elbows propped up on the table and resting her chin in her hands. She was watching the lovebirds beside her and taking mental notes at how they expressed their attraction for each other, but she could see him out of the corner out her eye and began rubbing her foot along his lower leg
again, yet a bit more tempting this time. ‘He’s not going to be ignoring me now,’ she told herself, glancing at him for a second before turning her attention back to her best friend and smiling lightheartedly. Jimmy just stared at her trying to regain composure after his brain went dead.

‘Wow, she is breathtaking,’ he thought before the waiter brought them their food. There was everyday conversation between the group throughout  dinner. Cindy captured Jimmy’s gaze a few times while they ate and when they were finished Jimmy and Sheen split the bill. Libby latched onto Sheen’s arm as he led her out. Cindy and Jimmy followed behind them, but as soon as Cindy walked out the door, she felt a gentle hand clasp around her arm. Her feet didn’t move as she looked
over her shoulder and watched Jimmy walk up beside her, still holding her arm. He smiled warmly at her as he spoke.  

“Cindy, you really do look phenomenal in that dress. Heck, you always look wonderful. May I take you somewhere?” he asked sincerely. She could feel her knees growing weaker by the moment, but she kept her composure.

“Depends,” she replied, “It better be nice, Neutron,” and gave him a teasing smile.

“Oh, it will be better than nice, Vortex,” he told her, repaying the teasing gesture. And with that he slid his hand down her arm and clasped her hand. The butterflies in her stomach that had stared fluttering since he had picked her up earlier where now beating wildly with every step they took closer to his destination. He led her behind the restaurant and down a flight of stairs that took them to the shore of the lake. She gasped at the magnificent view of the moon reflecting off the top of the water. Jimmy smiled to himself when he saw her awestruck expression.

Chapter 10

“Jimmy, this view is amazing,” she exclaimed while he led her closer to the water. “The placid water makes everything so peaceful, and the full moon is a perfect shade of luminous blue,” she stated as they stood at the end of the beach, looking out over the lake. “Is this where you wanted to take me?” she asked with the curiosity of a little girl. He just chuckled at her question.

“No, but we’re close,” he told her and turned his head away from her to look down the beach. “Look,” he ordered as he pointed into the distance. She peered around his large head to see a small inflamed light in the distance, just down the beach. “That’s where I’m taking you,” he said and gently squeezed her hand as he began leading her toward the light. In the moonlight, the young teens seemed to be in total bliss strolling down the lakeside, hand in hand and gently swinging their arms in unison with each step. Jimmy tried to keep his eyes off her, but in the end his hormones, along with his love for the blond, overpowered him. To him she looked wonderful in her showy black dress. And her hair captivated him.

“You’re beautiful,” he murmured before he could stop himself and she halted in mid-stride, just staring into the distance, like she was watching the world end. Ever so slowly and naturally with his free hand, he tucked a loose curl behind her ear, gazing at her with half-closed eyes and a dreamy expression. And even slower she spun her head to stare into his sparkling sapphire eyes. He was caught off guard when she narrowed her eyes, as if trying to read him.

“Is that all I am to you, Neutron? A pretty face,” she demanded, piercing her nicely manicured nails into the soft skin of his hand as her tightened facial expression molded into the deadly glare he knew all too well. His dazed expression soon vanished as he winced in pain. He closed his eyes for a few seconds, concentrating and trying to clarify his thoughts. He took a few deep breaths and eased his breathing before speaking.

“No! Don’t you get it, Vortex! I thought I already told you this?! You’re more!” he exclaimed bringing his face seriously close to hers, causing her to lean back a little. She was slightly taken by this, but her surprised look quickly changed.

“Oh really?” she asked, giving him a mischievous smirk. “Then prove it.” she ordered as he reclined himself back, returning a similar smirk but with a hint of aggravation.

“Don’t you worry,” he told her just as he began pulling her rather roughly down the beach, toward the flickering light in the distance. “I will,” he said a bit more quietly and continued dragging her toward this so called ‘secret spot ’.

Chapter 11

“Slow down,” she exclaimed a few minutes later, after being  literally dragged down the beach. “I have sand in my shoes,” she replied very
annoyed with Jimmy’s demeanor. And when Jimmy stopped and turned to her, she gave him a questioning look before a flickering light seized
her attention. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the candle-lit glow as she gazed upon the small table, covered by a silky white table cloth and littered with well arranged and colorful candles and flowers. She gaped at the surprising sight of the nicely configured table occupied by only two chairs and a few lit torches surrounding them.

Jimmy let go of her hand before he strolled over to a chair and pulled it out, beckoning for Cindy to sit. She suspiciously looked him over as she approached and took her seat. He sat across from her, closing his eyes and massaged his temples. After a few moments, he looked up to figure out her reaction and found her watching him. The blank expression on her face confused him and he considered asking her what she was thinking, but thought it best to stay quiet. With the candle
light reflecting off his face and showing off his smooth round cheeks and blazing eyes, she smiled at his concerned expression before she began questioning him.

“Didn’t we already eat dinner? What’s with the table?” she asked, gesturing to the few bright candles and flowers.

“You don’t like it? Is it too much?” he answered with a sign of disappointment in his voice. She caught it and soon felt regret for saying anything.

“No, it’s nice. I was just wondering,” she quickly replied and gave him a sweet smile. He felt his heart beat quicken as she leaned in and whispered to him. “It’s certainly romantic,” she told him in a seductive tone. He pulled at his collar and transmitted a nervous chuckle through the dense air.  

“Uh...well, you could say that,” he said looking away from her for a moment and biting his lower lip. A sly smile played on her lips as she watched him.

“Don’t tell me Jimmy Neutron is nervous,” she recited to the pink faced boy across from her, raising an eyebrow at him.

“Huh? N-no,” he shakily replied. “It’s just,” he said and took a deep breath before continuing, “I need to tell you something... something important,” he responded and gazed into her emerald eyes. ‘Okay, I can do it. It’s just her and I. No one around to interrupt, no one to be embarrassed by. Just say it.” he told himself, but his logical side of his brain had other plans.

“Okay,” she simply replied, placing her elbow on the table and resting her chin on her knuckle. He gulped as he twiddled his fingers in his lap.

“I, uh,” he responded before he tilted his head down, staring at his fingers and continuing, “We’ve known each other for a long time and you could say that we have gotten closer over the years. Some even say that we are best friends, but others think we are still enemies and always will be. Yet, it is scientifically proven that a relationship can take years to blossom and once enemies can become friendly, strong bonds can be formed. And with those bonds, feelings start to take shape. But for young males, I have concluded that it is emotionally harder to share these feelings and...” he explained, but stopped when he looked up at her and noticed she had her head turned away from him, gazing out over the lake. “You’re not even paying attention to me,” he sadly stated and resumed staring into his lap. But he was shook from his thoughts when she spoke to the water.

“It’s captivating, isn’t it?” she asked, continuing to look out over the water that was catching the orange glow of the candles on its smooth, flowing surface. Jimmy did not like being ignored.

“We’re you listening? I was trying to tell you-” he started but was cut off.

“Jimmy, I don’t want to hear it.” she stated and rolled her eyes.

“What?” he asked, completely blown away by her rudeness and incapability to even listen to him for a few minutes.

“I don’t want to hear a bunch of science crap!” she explained, slamming her hands on the table and looking him straight in the eye. “Just please tell me,” she pleaded. He stared at her as a rush of emotions surged through him; anger, confusion, sadness and most of all helplessness. He was a loss of words as he looked upon the face of the young girl in front of him. The glow from the candles perfectly illuminated her gentle skin and gleaming eyes. His heart skipped a beat as she pushed her chair back and stood up.

Chapter 12

He watched her as she walked down to the water’s edge. A cool breeze blew over her as she reached the water. Jimmy sat there, pondering what to do next as he gazed at her, dress flowing in the wind. He felt the cold breeze blow over them again and watched as she crossed her arms over her chest and began to shiver. He let out a defeated sigh as he took off his jacket and quietly walked up behind her. He carefully slipped it over her shoulders and wrapped his arm around her waist. She kept her face turned away from him as he tried to catch her eye, but he soon gave up.

“Come on,” he told her and led her to a small log a few yards away. As they sat down, Jimmy slowly removed his arm from her waist and placed his hands on his knees.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, clutching his coat around her shoulders.

“Don’t be, I’m sorry. I should have just come out with it instead of blabbing on like that.” he told her with the upmost sincerity in his voice. An unendurable silence filled the air as the couple just stared out over the water, the moon and the candle light mixing together creating brilliant colors rippling through the small waves. Jimmy slowly turned himself toward her and gingerly touched her face. Cindy closed her eyes and absorbed the tingling feeling. As he pulled his hand from her cheek, she placed her hand on top of his, holding his shaky hand in place. She also turned herself to face him. They gazed into each other’s eyes as Jimmy gathered his thoughts.

“Cindy, I...,” he started, but couldn’t form the words.

“Yes,” she replied, urging him to continue. He wasn’t sure what to do, so he did what the logical side of his brain told him not to. He decided it was finally now or never and that even if she tore him down like an old building, he was going to ask her the question that had been burning a hole in his ample brain the entire night and for several years.

“Cin, can I kiss you?” he asked as a playful smile formed on her face. She had been waiting so many lonely nights for him to speak up and concluded that she wasn’t about to let this amatory moment slip away, even if it meant admitting her attraction toward the gentle genius. Cindy Vortex does not turn down a challenge.

“Depends,” she responded and slipped her arms around his neck. He could feel his knees growing weaker and his stomach twisting into knots as he glided his own arms around her and rested his hands on her back, under his jacket. All reasoning seemed to slip away as he softly held her. Only his love for the intoxicating girl genius flowed through him, like the water in a steady stream. He admired everything about her and he realized that in a few years he could be with her forever, and with that came a thought of losing her forever if he did not release his sentiments now, and it clouded his mind for a single moment. Love induced determination overwhelmed him.

“May I, if I told you that I love you,” he informed her. The words penetrated her heart as tears rolled down her cheeks. His own tears glistened in his eyes as pulled her closer. “I always have and I always will,” he said as his tears finally escaped. “I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, I was just afraid. And I’ll understand if you don’t feel the same way,” he replied as he began to turn from her, but she stopped him.


Chapter 13

You could cut the tension with a knife, like the fragile vein that carries the life-giving blood. She knew her next word, action, or any form of response would change her life. Because now she knew that the one person in the world she was not suppose to love, loved her. But, she couldn’t stop herself from falling in love with the young genius, it just happened, like fate knew it would happen all along. And nothing and no one could get in the way.

As the words softly rolled off his tongue, she could feel her heart swelling. She knew how she felt and wasn’t about to let herself trip and fall at the finish line. She wasn’t going to screw up her perfect chance and start all over again. She wasn’t going to fail. For Cindy Vortex, failure was not an option.  
   
“You know for a genius, you’re really stupid,” she told him, her eyes sparkling with affection. He took him a moment to think about her words before he turned back to face her, moving his hands down to her hips. This definitely was not the straight up answer he was hoping for. But he should have seen it was coming, for she certainly was not a straight up kind of girl and he loved that about her.
                
“How so?” he asked with a look of utter confusion on his face. He thought he knew her pretty well, but she would always be the one question he could not find an answer for.

“Oh please, all the hints I’ve dropped,” she answered, but the expression on his face didn’t change. “The looks, the gestures, the smiles,” she stated, getting more desperate with each word. “Well, maybe this will clear things up,” she said as she scooted onto his lap. “Kiss me.” she whispered to him, closing her eyes and leaning into him, but stopping a few inches from his lips. She tempted him with her warm breath against his face. And being the kind of girl she was, bright,
brave, strong and never taking a command from a dumb male, she fully enjoyed the feeling of him squirming in her grasp, her lips just out of reach and her in control.

“Really?” he whispered, raising his eyebrows in shock. He couldn’t believe what she was doing, much less what she said. And before he could say or think anything else she pressed her glossy lips against his. His mind went completely blank as he closed his eyes and deeply kissed her back, running his hands up her sides. She twisted at his touch, his fingers tickling her ribs. This was the moment the two teens had waited for a long time, when they could finally reveal their true intentions for arguing, teasing, stealing sideways glances, and denying any attraction for each other.

When their lips finally parted, neither could speak. They stared into the other’s eyes for a moment, foreheads gently pressed against each other until Jimmy closed the gap and softly kissed the corner of her mouth. He tenderly kissed her lips before his own lips trailed down her cheek and then delicately caressed her neck. She melted in his embrace as he gently rubbed her back, brushing his lips over her bare shoulder before burying his face in her hair, lightly kissing her ear. She could barely breathe, much less come to reality. It was like a dream, who would have thought she would be in the arms of her mortal enemy. Waves of emotions rushed through her, his warm breath against her neck, the soft touch of his lips on her skin made her tremble at the unbelievable feeling. They sat on the log, tangled in each other’s arms for what felt like forever until Cindy slowly reclined herself back to look into his eyes.

“I love you so much,” she whispered to the young genius. Her heart flowed out in those five small words, the words he longed to hear for too many languish days and lonesome nights.

“Not as much as I love you,” he whispered back, a loving smile forming on his face. He was amazed at how easily the words could come out, the same words he kept secret for so long.

“Oh really, how much then?” she asked in her own teasing tone that made his heart flutter. She needed to know if this was a dream or not.

“More than science,” he told her, leaning in to kiss her neck again. He knew this was nothing but true and he needed her to know also. She really did mean the world to him, whether he had ever admitted to it before. She was a main factor for most of his inventions and she only spurred him on to make bigger and better creations.

“Wow,” she expressed breathlessly as he ran his hands through her hair. She couldn’t believe how big a part she played in his life. She knew science was everything to him, but most of all she knew he meant everything to her. “Jimmy...” she spoke more to herself than him.

“Yes, my love?” he answered as she placed her head against his chest, listening to his flowing heart beat. He held her tighter as he rested his cheek on the top of her head. He knew he would have to take her home sooner or later, nevertheless wished he could stay here with her forever.

“If only I told you sooner,” she whispered to him while her eyelids slowly lowered. “If only...,” she uttered as she fell a sleep in her love’s arms.


Epilogue

After Cindy had fallen asleep, Jimmy used his watch to signal the hover car to the lake and have vox drive his red car back to the lab. He carefully laid Cindy on the back seat with a small pillow and blanket. He listened to her quiet mumbling as he flew to her house. Once they arrived on their street, he carefully hovered up to Cindy’s window. Luckily it was open and he parked the hover car in midair just outside her window, close enough to step from the side of the hover car and onto her window ledge.

Quietly and carefully, he carried her from the craft and into her dim room. He gently placed her on her soft pink bed and slowly took off her black sandals, trying not to wake her. As he put her shoes in her closet, he noticed the door was open and glided over to it and silently closed it. Once he returned to the side of her bed, he gazed upon her as she turned onto her side, facing him and nestled her head into her fluffy pillow.

‘Like a sleeping angel,’ he thought as he pulled the covers over her. When he was sure she was comfortable, he lightly brushed his fingers over her loosely curled hair before turning to leave. But before making his departure, he carefully placed a small black box on her night stand for her to find in the morning. Then, as quietly as possible he made his way back to her window, but was startled when he heard someone clear their throat.

‘Uh-oh,’ he thought and mentally kicked himself for not being quieter. He noted the annoyed manner in this gesture and spun around slowly, like a little kid being caught in the act of stealing a cookie, to face the teenage girl. Cindy sat up in the bed, her arms crossed over her chest, glaring at the boy. In the dark, with only the moon light steaming in through the open window and bouncing off her glistening blond hair and gleaming green eyes, Jimmy knew she couldn’t be any more appealing. He gave her his best smile and shoved his hands into his pockets, trying to hide the blush creeping into his cheeks while he stood at her window.

“So,” she started, “you think you can just drop me off and leave?” she asked him, her tone strangely arrogant. He was quite baffled, after the night’s engagements he thought she may be a bit more gratifying, but of course that wasn’t her.

“Sorry,” he replied, a little more timid than he originally wished.

“Oh, okay,” she remarked as she let her arms fall limply into her lap. “Well, can we talk before you go?” she asked and he nodded in response,
but didn’t move from his place at the window. She gazed at him questioningly, waiting for him to walk over to her. After a few moments and he still didn’t move, she flicked on the lamp that sat on the stand beside her bed. “Come here,” she ordered, a bit annoyed at his density. At her words, his soft expression molded into a dreamier, far off look as he approached her bedside. The delicate light from the small lamp illuminated him and she was memorized by his matured features.

“Yes?” he questioned, casually sitting at the end of the bed across from her. He turned himself slightly to face her as she grinned shyly at him and took a deep breath before speaking.

“I...” she stammered, “I think we should take it slow,” she said as she reached for his hands. “I don’t want to rush into things and go back to fighting,” she implied to him, a sense of sadness in her eyes. “It’s just you know how well I’ve kept my feelings for you covered up and I don’t want everyone freaking out. But I do want a relationship with you.” she told him, her eyes slightly glazing over. His heart leapt into his throat.

“I understand,” he responded in his own soothing tone that always made her feel better, like nothing could go wrong. “I think some may go insane if they see us making out, anyway,” he joked, softly squeezing her hands. “We’ll just have to keep our public affection to a minimum until everyone  gets used to the idea of enemies dating,” he inquired softly.

“I’m gonna tell Libby though,” she remarked as he stood up and she slipped back under the covers.

“I know,” he commented wittingly as he flipped off her lamp, then strolled back to the window.  Just before he climbed out, her soft voice flowed to him.

“Jimmy? What about my goodnight kiss?” she pouted, batting her eyelashes at the tired genius. He sighed and turned around, smiling back at her as he drew nearer. When he reached her, she sat up anticipating his next move. He gently swept a few strands of her golden hair behind her ear before he leaned down. She closed her eyes and absorbed the feeling as his lips pressed against hers. She tried wrapping her arms around his neck, but he pulled away, leaving her hands grasping nothing but air.

“Easy, Vortex,” he whispered to her and when she opened her eyes he was already at the window. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he told her, but it came out more like a question and she smiled broadly.

“You bet,” she responded and nestled back into bed. “Goodnight, Jimmy,” she spoke softly, her eyelids slowly lowering.

“Goodnight, beautiful,” he uttered to her and disappeared out the window. She listened to the gentle hum of the hover car as she fell into unconsciousness, dreaming of her beloved.         


The end... for now