Wilstead High School

Two weeks later

"Class. This assignment will be ΒΌ of your final grade, so I want you to work very hard on it." Mr. Edwards passed around packets describing their projects. "You are going to research and present the social justice issues in a country of your choice." Hands shot up immediately, but Mr. Edwards continued. "Yes, Mr. Teague, this is a group project. And yes Ms. Larson, I have already assigned the groups." The class tittered at those last comments. Andrew Teague and Samantha Larson asked those questions upon the announcement of any project that they did.

"Now, if you open up your packets to page 4, you will see the assigned groups." The rustle of papers enveloped the room. A couple of seconds later, cheers of excitement and groans of despair could be heard from all corners as people realized whom they were and weren't in a group with. Jett opened up his packet and searched for his last name. "Jackson. Jackson. Jackson."

"Hey Jett! Looks like we're together." Kayla smiled at him from across the aisle. She was glad that she had been put in a group with her boyfriend.

"Yeah! It looks like we're all together!" Audrey had walked up to them from where she sat at the back of the room.

"Sounds cool to me!" Jett said. "We're going to have the most awesome project ever. What do you think you want to do as our topic? There is so much to choose from." For the rest of the class period, the three teens discussed their possible project topics. By the end of the period, they had decided to do the Philippines, and to meet at Jett's house that afternoon to begin their research.

Jackson Household Later that afternoon

The doorbell rang. As usual, Jett simply ignored it and waited for his Nana or his father to get it.

"Jett?" He heard his Nana call him from downstairs. "There is someone here to see you."

"Now that's funny. We didn't schedule our meeting until 5:30. Maybe it's Kayla coming early so that she and I can get some alone time together," Jett thought to himself. Then out loud he yelled downstairs, "Just send her on up."

Jett then heard the footsteps of someone slowly climbing up his stairs. When the person reached the top though, they seemed to slow down tremendously. All of a sudden, a giant thud was heard right outside of Jett's door. A little confused, he got up to see what the commotion was about. He turned the doorknob, ready to greet his girlfriend with a kiss, but instead was surprised to see the new girl there looking down at an enormous stack of books lying at her feet. She jerked her head up when he opened the door so quickly and had a startled look on her face.

"Sorry I'm a little early. I was at the library, and I didn't know how far you lived from it, or how long it would take me to get here, so I just left and came on over. Are you busy working on something? I can come back."

No, Jett wasn't busy, and by the cute little timid way that she had asked him, how could he turn her down? "Nah, I'm not busy," said Jett as he bent down to pick up the books. "Come on in."

"Thanks." As the duo walked over to set the books on the bed she added, "I guess I went a little overboard on the research materials, huh?"

He laughed. "Don't worry about it. This is great. Go ahead and take a seat. Sit anywhere."

Audrey wasn't sure where exactly she should sit. She'd never been in a boy's room alone before. She decided to simply play it safe and sit on the floor leaning against the bed. Once she was situated, she took the time to look around Jett's room. It was your basic average room; nothing extraordinary about it. Well, except for the fact that there were various gadgets lying around that she had no idea what they were used for. After a couple of seconds, Jett decided to speak. "So, how do you like Wilstead so far?"

"It's nice. It's so different than New York. It's... quaint. Yeah, that's the word I'm looking for. Quaint."

"Oh, that's right! You moved here from the Big Apple." Audrey nodded as he continued, "New York is great; I love it there. You know, that orphan girl was from New York. Wasn't her name Anne, or something? Oh wait, no. It's Annie. Oh wow! Can I start calling you Annie?"

"Go ahead. Actually, that is the name that my dad penned on me when I was little. He called me Annie all the time."

"Yeah, so, why'd you move to Wilstead in the first place, Annie?" He used his new name for her.

"Dad. Work. Stuff. You know, the normal thing."

"Yeah, totally. I actually moved here from LA a couple of years ago because I preferred the small town life to LA. I mean, I grew up here. Just because I was famous and on a television show, didn't mean that I still wasn't a country boy at heart, you know?"

"Yeah I guess so. But you're lucky. You got to continue with your acting thing after you moved here. The show was your show, so they just moved everything to North Carolina. I, on the other hand, don't get to model anymore unless I go visit New York in the summer or something. I mean, I still have my agency up there, but it's too much trouble to commute back and forth. That's a really long drive from here to New York!"

"Yeah, it is," Jett interjected; then he paused. "OK, now I know that this is probably going to sound like a very weird question for you, but I'm kind of confused. See, I'm not exactly one to keep up with the happenings of the modeling world, but I do know some basic stuff. And one thing that I do know is that models are usually tall. Can you please explain that to me? I mean, you can't be anymore than, what, 5 feet?"

Audrey gave him a smirk. "I will have you know that I am a whopping 5 feet and 1 inch tall. Thank you very much. And I will also have you also know that I did not model in the junior/petites division."

"Oh yeah? Then what clothes did you model? Plus-size?" Audrey fake laughed at his little joke. Then, she mumbled something so softly that Jett could barely hear her. "What was that?" he asked. She mumbled something again. "No, I'm pretty sure that I cannot hear you. Please say it again, a little bit louder?"

Audrey sighed. "I modeled the children's clothing, ok? Geez!"

During his brief interrogation of her, Jett moved closer, down from his perch on the chair to the floor right across from her.

Jett tried hard not to laugh. "Please explain to me how a 16 year old girl models children's clothing."

Audrey had to try and redeem herself. "I will have you know, Jett Jackson, that I am not 16 years old yet! In fact, I'm not even 15; I'm still just a lowly 14-year-old."

"OK. Now I need you to explain to me how a 14 year old is in the tenth grade." Jett was so confused.

"It's simple really. I skipped the third grade, and my birthday isn't until the summer. Therefore, I am almost 2 years younger than some of the people in our class. Therefore, giving me a logical excuse as to why I am so short."

"Awwwww. Wittle Annie is still just a wittle fourteen year old." Jett teased. "But you know what, at 14, you aren't going to be doing much growing. You are going to be modeling children's clothes until you are 40!"

"Oh! That's it, Jackson. You are going down!" And with that, she grabbed a pillow off the edge of the bed and smacked him in the head with it. "I might be tiny, but I pack a mean punch. Don't mess with me. I am the child model from Hell!"

The two teenagers began a very rowdy pillow fight full of screams, laughter, and running around. At one point, Jett pinned Audrianne down on the bed, and was tickling her unmercifully. It was at that exact moment in time, that Kayla opened the door to her boyfriend's bedroom.

TBC...