Hello! I loved Once and Again, especially the Grace/Dimitri storyline! I don't own any part of Once and Again, I'm just a bored writer, LOL. This takes place immediately following the kiss in 'Experience Is The Teacher'. Let me know what you think, please review!
She couldn't believe that she'd kissed him. She had actually kissed him. But what surprised her even more than that was the fact that he had kissed back. She was sure of it. She'd felt it, the mutuality of it, and it both excited and scared her. In either case, it had caused Grace to strongly evaluate how she really felt about August Dimitri.

"Gracie?" Lily asked, leaning into the doorway. "Yeah?" Grace asked. She was curled up on her bed. She didn't look at Lily. She was afraid that somehow the phrase, I KISSED MR. DIMITRI would be tattooed in neon on her forehead.

"Are you going to come down for dinner?" Grace shook her head against her pillow. She regretted the action immediately, now Lily was going to come in, sit down, and pry into her life again.

And she did. Lily seated herself next to Grace on the bed, and tucked a tendril of Grace's hair behind her ear as Grace struggled to act natural.

"Something wrong, Gracie? Because you know you can always-" Lily began. "I'm fine, really. I'm just taking a break between chapters," Grace said, sitting up and showing her mother a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird that was laying beside her bed.

"Oh, well, okay. I'll leave a plate for you on the stove," Lily said as she left. Grace nodded, but she doubted she'd be hungry for awhile. Her lips were still on fire from before. When she had kissed him.
* The next morning, Grace was both anxious and nervous about going to class. Were things going to be weird? Of course they will, she thought to herself. She tried to play it off like she wasn't thinking about it, but everyone could tell something was up.

"Yo, earth to Grace!! Okay, Grace has left the building!" Zoe screeched, snapping her sister out of her daze.

"What do you want, Zoe?!" Grace demanded, irritated. She had big things on her mind and no time for trivial stuff.

"I've only been asking you to pass the orange juice for the past ten minutes!!!" Zoe whined, stretching her little arm across the table as far as she could, proving to Grace that she just couldn't reach. "Oh," Grace said absently. "Sorry."

She sat the juice in front of Zoe and shouldered her backpack. She almost ran smack into Eli in the doorway.

"God, Grace, where's the fire?" he asked, gently grabbing her wrist. "Nowhere....I just have to get to school. I'm going to be late," she said, taking her wrist back and exiting.

When Grace got to school, she suddenly felt like avoiding her Creative Writing class. She lingered by her locker with her friends Hayley and Jenna for as long as she could, trying to listen while they gushed on and on about Tad. They noticed that something was off about Grace, too.

"Grace? Are you okay?" Jenna asked, waving a hand in front of Grace's face. "Yeah, I'm fine, why?" she replied.

As if on cue, just then Eli passed by their lockers and waved casually to Grace. Jenna and Hayley exchanged glances, and then looked at Grace, who didn't seem to notice.

"Ohhh..." Hayley said, grinning. "I get it. I knew it!" "What?" Grace demanded. "Oh come on Gracie! It's so obvious! You've got it bad for him!!" Jenna squealed.

Grace's heart skipped a beat and her stomach swam in a panic. She wished she had one of those little magnetic mirrors in her locker so she could recheck for the neon tattoo.

"What are you talking about? I don't 'have it bad' for anybody! Honestly!" she huffed. Hayley and Jenna laughed.

"Yeah right. Deny it all you want, but that stepbrother of yours is fine, Gracie, and you know it," Hayley said.

My stepbrother? Grace thought. Eli. They thought she had a crush on Eli. Well, she sorta did, maybe, or at least she did before....Well, if they wanted to think it was Eli that she was longing for, let them. It would keep them from thinking anything else.

Grace didn't have to respond as the first block bell rang. She exhaled deeply and headed to Dimitri's class. The whole class went as normal as any other day, except for an exaggerated lack of eye contact between the two. Probably best, Grace concluded. She didn't know if she was relieved or disappointed that nothing had changed, but before she could decide for sure, class was over. She gathered her books and headed for the door when she stopped in her tracks at the sound of his voice.

"Ms. Manning? Can I see you for a moment, please?" he asked. Grace's heart jumped and she thought to herself, you can see me all you want, but she composed herself and approached his desk.

"Last night-" he began. Grace's breath caught in her throat and she sucked in air to try and breath. Dimitri noticed and moved on quickly to assure her that it wasn't what she thought.

"- I wanted to give you a novel that's on my preferred author's list, but we got...we didn't have the time. I brought it with me today," he said, and handed her the book. "Thanks," Grace said quietly, smiled, and rushed into the hall.

She practically ran to the bathroom, locked herself in a stall, and paused, the book quivering in her hands. She anticipated opening the book to find another inscription like the one in the Chekov book. But what if there wasn't one? Could she handle it? Could she if there was? Enough of this, she thought, and opened the book. A small piece of paper fluttered out from between the cover and title page. Grace deftly caught it before it hit the floor, and looked at it with wide eyes. It was in his all-too- familiar penmanship, and her heart raced with each word.

Grace, Please meet with me at my house tonight. Be discreet. We need to discuss things. -August

She didn't know how to interpret it. He wanted her to meet him. After the kiss, he still wanted to risk it. Was that good or bad? Be discreet. Obviously. We need to discuss things? That was for sure, but what did he mean? He'd signed it August. Just August.

The rest of the day, Grace was in agony. She couldn't stand not knowing what the note had meant, and tried to focus not on Dimitri...August....whoever he was, whoever he had become, but rather on how she was going to get out of the house. She was becoming quite the talented liar. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, she thought.

"Hey Grace," Eli said, coming into the kitchen where Grace was reading the novel Mr. Dimitri had given to her earlier in the day.

"Hi," she said, not looking up from the book. Eli slid onto the chair across from her and plucked the book out of her hands.

"Hey!" she cried playfully. Eli grinned at her from across the table.

"You know, if you don't quit reading so much people might get the idea that you're some kind of geeky bookworm or something," he teased, flipping through the pages.

Just then, Grace realized that she left the note in the book. She quickly yanked it back. "Jeez, sorry! Lighten up, Gracie!" he said, reaching over to play with her hair. "I'm sorry, Eli," Grace said. "You know what you need?" Eli said, his eyes bright. "Enlighten me," Grace teased. "To cut loose. Have a little fun. Why don't you come with me and my band tonight? There's a free concert in the park tonight, new local band. Pretty good," Eli remarked.

"But no competition, right?" Grace laughed. Eli echoed her laughter. "I'd love to, really, but I've got to go the library and do some studying," she said. That was the best she'd been able to come up with.

"Oh, come on," Eli moaned. "The library?" "Yeah! Look, I'm really sorry," Grace said, looking out the window at the dark night sky. "But I've got to get going. My study group is waiting."

Grace stood up and headed for the door, grabbing her keys from the hook as she went. "Hey, E, could you tell my Mom where I'm at?" she asked, paused in the doorway. "Yeah, sure thing." "Thanks!" Grace said, and headed out the door.

Eli watched as Grace pulled out of the driveway and drove off, going east. It was then that he realized the library was the other way. He jumped up and grabbed his own keys.

Well?! Should I continue? Let me know what you think, please!! =)