Each morning Jace walked by her house on his way to school. Each afternoon he passed it on his way home. Sometimes, he would also pass at other times. Occasionally he would catch a glimpse of the bright-faced girl with wavy blonde locks. She sat under the two conifers that towered overhead. But as far as he knew, she never noticed him.

The house itself, a grey Stick Victorian with brown trim, spoke of a happy family. Its expansive porch took a jaunt through the sweet-scented yellows and reds of the flower garden. Little gabled alcoves jutted into the world, embraced by the overall form of the structure, as if its gables were parents looking after their offspring. A squat wall of white stone stood before this all, making up in intensity what it lacked in stature, a formidable protector to all within.

But the trees were even more special, for under these Jennifer would read. Or sometimes she would just be sitting quietly or humming softly a tune Jace didn’t recognize. Jace paid her no heed, or else she might see his admiration. But out of the corner of his eye, he noticed her shapely form, and he fought to keep breathing. And in his imagination, he felt the softness of her pink cashmere sweater in his delicate hands. He felt her fingers running through his thick, dark hair. Her chocolate eyes and his ordinary brown ones got lost in each other. Perhaps his finger stroked the line of her eyebrow, following her face around softly-curved cheek and jaw, finally resting under her chin.

But Jace said nothing, made no motion out of the ordinary. He merely continued walking, as nonchalantly as possible for a big-footed, lanky teen in a grey tee and worn khakis.

(Click here for part 2.)

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