Today is a winding road that's taking me to places that I didn't want to go
Whoa (whoa, whoa, whoa)

Jake Ryan sat in his living room thinking about his life. Sure, being a star had its advantages - girls, cars, and parties. But it also had its disadvantages - mobs, paparazzi, no Miley...

Miley.

The girl who won his heart over in a matter of seconds. Too bad she hated his guts. But that's what attracted him to her in the first place; she didn't fall over him like some love-sick puppy just because he was famous. It was refreshing to know that there was someone out there who thinks of him as a normal human being. Of course, the fact that she's absolutely breathtaking helped a lot as well, but she didn't try to make herself that way. She was a natural beauty, and had a glowing aura that surrounded her.

Today in the blink of an eye, I'm holding on to something and I do not know why I tried

Jake sighed and sank into the couch, looking up at the ceiling. Why was his heart sticking with Miley? He knew that she didn't like him at all, yet his heart refused to move on. As much as he wanted to, he couldn't seem to leave her; there was just something about her that made his heart beat wildly in his chest.

I tried to read between the lines
I tried to look in your eyes

He tried everything to get her to notice him - his good looks, his popularity, his stardom - and he got nothing from her. He thought that maybe she was only pretending to dislike him, but every time he tried to read her actions or look in her eyes, he could only see contempt staring right back at him.

I want a simple explanation
For what I'm feeling inside

He couldn't take this anymore. The butterflies in his chest were bouncing around as if they were on a sugar rush. Jake Ryan did not get butterflies. He's Jake Ryan for christ's sake! How could he feel something so powerful for someone who couldn't even stand the sight of him? How could he feel this way toward anyone? He was an incredibly attractive boy, who could get any person he desired.

Except her.

God, why did this have to be so difficult? Why did he have to pick her?

Because she wants something other than good looks. Because she wants substance. Because she wants reality...

I gotta find a way out
Maybe there's a way out

Jake sighed once again. He needed to clear his mind. All of this was giving him a headache and an even worse heartache. He knew there was no way that Miley would ever consider liking him, and constantly thinking about her would cause his heart to explode.

"Maybe a walk on the beach will help clear my mind. I could use the air anyway."

He started walking toward the ocean, loving the feel of the wet sand between his toes. The ocean breeze began to whip lightly at his face, and he couldn't help but breathe in the salty air. He closed his eyes as he felt his body relax and his mind drift away.

Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer
Do you know you're unlike any other?
You'll always be my thunder, and I said

Memories faded into his mind's eye and he couldn't help but smile.

He remembered when he came over to her house to apologize for being a jerk at school that day, when some music drifted from the back. He crept around to her deck and stopped. There was Miley, strumming her guitar on her balcony. He was about to make his presence known, until he heard her softly begin to sing. It was the sweetest voice he had ever heard and he couldn't help but be mesmerized. She never noticed him standing there, and he never planned on telling her.

He always remembered her voice, and at night, he could always hear her singing in his dreams. He loved listening to her sing, and he cherished that he was one of the few people who had ever heard her.

Your eyes are the brightest of all the colors
I don't wanna ever love another
You'll always be my thunder

As that memory drifted away, another one came.

Her bright, vivid, blue eyes stared straight at him. They were the color of morning rain. He could never forget them, even if he tried. They were embedded into his mind forever.

Jake knew that he'd wouldn't and couldn't feel the way he did for anyone but her. Even though she would probably never feel the same way, he didn't want to let go of her, because letting go of her would mean letting go of his memories of her. He wanted to hold on to those memories and never let go.

So bring on the rain
And bring on the thunder

Jake suddenly collided into a soft body and he felt both of them tumble onto the ground.

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Today is a winding road
Tell me where to start and tell me something I don't know
Whoa (whoa, whoa, whoa)

Miley Stewart laid in her bed, staring at the ceiling and thinking about the one kid that got under her skin more than anyone she'd ever met.

Jake Ryan.

God how she couldn't stand him - always using his stardom to get everything he wants. His ego was bigger than Aunt Dolly's hair, and that's saying something. Then again, there were times when he could be really sweet, like the time he told Amber and Ashley to back off after they insulted Miley's deceased mother. Miley couldn't help but smile at the memory, but that smile turned into a scowl when she realized what she was doing. She couldn't think that he was sweet, because that would mean that she didn't completely hate him, and if she didn't completely hate him, then that would mean that a tiny part of her liked him.

Now that was just unacceptable. She did not like Jake Ryan. That would be blasphemous!

"Jake Ryan is self-centered, obnoxious, a pain in the ass, cute, sweet, charming, a total hottie..." she clasped a hand over her mouth to stop herself.

Dear God! Did she really just say that? Could it be that deep down, Miley actually liked the Zombie Slayer? Maybe thats why her heart always raced when she was near him and she got butterflies the size of Mt. Rushmore whenever he talked to her. Maybe thats why there seemed to be a crackle of electricity in the air between the two of them when they argued. Maybe that's why she constantly thought about him day and night.

Today I'm on my own
I can't move a muscle and I can't pick up the phone
I don't know (I don't know, I don't know, I don't know)

Miley couldn't move. This revelation had her head spinning.

Could that really be the answer to everything?

She needed to talk to someone about this. Her dad was out on Hannah business and Jackson was at work. She tried reaching for her phone, but her body felt like a dead weight. She couldn't feel her arms or legs - only her fluttering heart. So she stayed where she was, lying spread eagle on her bed. After a few moments, she pushed herself up and sat on her bed.

"I like Jake Ryan" she whispered softly. Her heart jumped in her chest lightly at her admission.

"I like Jake Ryan" she repeated, a little louder. Her heart started racing even more. She jumped up on her bed.

"I like Jake Ryan!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. She felt like her heart was beating so hard that it was about to burst out of her chest.

And suddenly, a weight was lifted from her shoulders. She couldn't help but smile.

And now I'm itching for the tall grass
And longing for the breeze
I need to step outside
Just to see if I can breathe

Her heart was still racing and she couldn't breathe. She felt like there was no air in her system - only happy gas that made her smile and laugh and grin. She needed to get out of her room before she suffocated from the intense feeling in her heart. She glanced out her window and saw the ocean. Her eyes lit up at the thought of a walk on the beach. It was, after all, a beautiful day outside, and she wanted to feel the breeze on her face.

I gotta find a way out
Maybe theres a way out

She slipped on her shoes by the doorway and walked toward the ocean. Once there, she took off her shoes so she could sink her toes in the sand. The salty breeze whipped at her face and hair, and she couldn't help but relax. She closed her eyes as she let the smell of the salty water engulf her and she let her mind drifted away.

Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer
Do you know you're unlike any other?
You'll always be my thunder, and I said

Memories sped by in her mind, but one caught her attention.

It was the day when she and Jake had gotten detention for disturbing the peace with their verbal spat. After their detention, she went to her locker to get her things, when she heard Jake talking. She was about to tell him to stop talking to himself, but she froze as she turned the corner. There was Jake, reading a poem he wrote about a girl he loved. It was the sweetest poem she had ever heard, and when he finished, she had tears in her eyes. She'd never heard Jake speak so passionately before and silently wished that someone would write a poem as beautiful as that for her one day. He never noticed her standing there, and she never planned on telling him.

She always remembered that poem and the passionate voice that went along with it. She'd hear it in her dreams and pretend it was her true love speaking to her. She knew all of the words by heart and knew that she'd never forget them for as long as she lived.

Your eyes are the brightest of all the colors
I don't wanna ever love another
You'll always be my thunder

As that memory faded away, another slowly came into view.

His striking, bright green eyes. They always seemed to sparkle when they argued. She could remember them distinctly and would never forget them. They were burned into her mind forever.

She had never felt this way for someone before. Sure, she's had crushes before, but they had never gone to this extent. Even though she only admitted it this morning, she had a feeling that she had always liked Jake; she just didn't want to come out and say it.

So bring on the rain
And bring on the thunder

Miley suddenly collided into a hard body and she felt both of them tumble onto the ground.

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Yeah I'm walking on a tightrope
I'm wrapped up in vines

After falling onto the soft sand, Jake and Miley opened their eyes, ready to tell off the person that knocked them down. Blue eyes locked onto green ones and the world stopped for just a few seconds. They broke eye contact and looked everywhere except at each other.

Regaining his senses, Jake got up and held out a hand to Miley. When their hands touched, a small spark shot through them, causing Miley to jump slightly. Jake grasped her hand again and pulled her up from the ground. He pulled her a bit too strongly, causing her to be flush against his body. A slight blush broke out on her cheeks at the position they were in. She pulled away and they stood their awkwardly, neither knowing what to say.

I think we'll make it out
But you just gotta give me time

Jake opened his mouth to say something, but quickly snapped it shut. He wanted so badly to tell her how he felt; how his heart beat wildly for her and how he drowns in the sweet smell of her perfume every time she's near him. But he couldn't get the words out. Rejection was not a common word in his vocabulary, and the few times it came up, it nearly killed his self-esteem. He didn't want to risk it. Yes, Jake Ryan was a coward.

Miley, too, tried opening her mouth to say something, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. She wanted to scream out her feelings for him just like she did in her room, but the fear of rejection stopped her. He was Jake Ryan, super star extraordinaire and one of the hottest people alive. She was just plain, old, Miley Stewart. She wasn't good enough for him, what was she thinking? If she admitted her feelings, he'd probably laugh in her face.

Strike me down with lightning

Jake looked at Miley and saw the internal battle in her eyes. He knew he had to tell her - if he didn't tell her now, he'd never be able to tell her again, and he knew he couldn't carry this secret forever.

'Who cares if she doesn't feel the same? At least I'll know how she feels instead of always hoping' he thought to himself.

Let me feel you in my veins

Miley couldn't keep this bottled up anymore. She had already hidden her feelings for Jake from herself for a long time, there's no way she'd be able to hide them from Jake for much longer.

'At least he'll know how I feel, and if he doesn't feel the same, then I won't have to go around hoping' she thought.

I wanna let you know how much I feel your pain

"I like you!" both of them blurted out at the same time. Their eyes widened in shock at each other's confession and their hearts went into overdrive. The only sound heard was the gentle crashing of the waves and the soft cries of the pelicans.

Jake hesitantly stepped toward her, thinking that Miley would disappear and he'd wake up in his living room. When she didn't move, he internally breathed a sigh of relief.

'So it's not a dream, then'

Miley watched as Jake approached her. Her feet were glued to the sand and she felt like she couldn't breathe. Could it really be that Jake Ryan liked her, Miley Stewart?

She looked up at his sea-green eyes just as the sun's rays caught them. She couldn't help but softly gasp as she saw them sparkling back at her.

"Is it true?" he whispered. At her confused expression, he added, "Is what you just said true? Do you like me?"

She gulped nervously; it was now or never, and suddenly she wished she had chosen never. Miley closed her eyes and took a deep breath before opening them again. She answered him softly.

"Yes"

Jake couldn't believe it. The girl of his dreams told him that she felt the same way that he felt. Inside, he was jumping for joy and screaming at the top of his lungs. He lifted Miley off the ground and spun her around in the air. She laughed lightly and her sweet voice echoed in his ears. Now he had another memory to put in his bank, and this one was even better than his first memory of her. He gently put her down and rested his forehead against hers. He could feel her soft breathing on his cheek as he gazed into her clear, blue eyes.

"I really like you too, Miley"

Her face broke out into a brilliant smile and her eyes sparkled with happiness.

Today is a winding road that's taking me to places that I didn't want to go

Miley thought about how much her life changed in one day. She woke up this morning only to realize that she liked Jake Ryan. At first, she didn't want to admit it, and she fought against it, but now she's happy that she accepted the truth. The truth led her to a wonderful guy.

Jake also thought about how much his life changed today. He realized that his life wasn't as great as he thought it was and that it was missing the one thing he really wanted - love. He didn't need fame and fortune to be happy, he just needed to be himself. That's what led him to an amazing girl.

Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer
Do you know you're unlike any other?
You'll always be my thunder, and I said

Jake thought it'd be best to tell Miley his favorite memory - the one when she was singing. He wanted her to be able to trust him, and thought that by telling her, she'd see that he was trustworthy.

Her feelings for him grew as he told her about how he heard her sing on her balcony and how he always heard her in his dreams. Tears formed in her eyes and he gently wiped them away. She smiled at him and he smiled right back.

Your eyes are the brightest of all the colors
I don't wanna ever love another
You'll always be my thunder, and I said

"You're beautiful, Miley," he whispered softly in her ear. Her smile grew wider. A crack of thunder could be heard in the distance and she raised her eyes to the sky. Clouds were forming and it was getting darker. She looked back at him.

"You have the most amazing eyes,"she whispered back. He cracked a grin and wanted to say something cocky, but thought better. Miley noticed and smirked lightly.

'You can take the boy out of the tv star, but you can't take the tv star out of the boy' she laughed internally.

Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer
Do you know you're unlike any other?
You'll always be my thunder

Miley thought about the poem he recited in that empty hallway. She remembered how passionate he was about the person, and couldn't help but wonder who he was talking about.

"Jake? I heard you recite that poem you wrote that day we had detention. I know it's personal, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to..." she stuttered. Jake smirked.

"You want to know who it was for, right?" he grinned at her squirming form. She looked so cute when she was uncomfortable. She was looking everywhere but him, trying to control the large blush across her cheeks. He took her gently by the chin and made her look at him. His hand found hers and their fingers intertwined.

"It was for you"

So bring on the rain

Tears of joy fell from her eyes and were soon washed away with droplets of rain. She turned her face toward the sky and closed her eyes as she let the rain wash over her. He watched her beautiful face glow with happiness, and it in turn made him even happier. The thunder echoed throughout the beach and she looked back at him.

There was only one thing he had to ask her before she could fully be his.

"Miley Stewart, would you do me the honor of being my girlfriend?" he whispered. She smiled at him and nodded. He cracked a grin and once again twirled her around in the air. They were both soaked from the rain, but Jake thought that she never looked more beautiful than she did right now.

He gently put her down and looked in her eyes.

"Miley, being my girlfriend means that you're probably going to be in the public eye a lot. As much as I'd like to have some privacy, I don't get much of it. Are you ready for that? Because if you aren't, I completely understand"

It was hard for him to give her a chance to leave him, but he respected and liked her too much to keep her as a prisoner in an unhappy relationship.

Miley thought about the consequences of dating the Jake Ryan - her private life would end up just like her Hannah life, and as much as she'd like to keep her Miley life the way it was, she knew that she wouldn't be able to live with herself for blowing away her one chance. Besides, 'Jiley' would probably blow over after a few weeks, and she was used to the paparazzi as Hannah, so why not give herself a chance at happiness?

She looked deep into his eyes and smirked.

"Oh baby, bring on the pain"

They both laughed until their stomachs hurt. Jake slipped his hand into Miley's and brought it up to his lips. He kissed each of her fingers lightly and grinned when she giggled. He slowly moved up her arm, applying gentle butterfly kisses along the way. He nipped at her collar bone and inhaled her scent - it always drove him crazy. He felt her breathing slow down as he moved higher and higher, kissing her neck, her nose, and her cheeks.

He hovered over her lips and she felt his warm breath on her face. She looked up into his sea-green eyes and he looked down into her clear blue ones. He gently brought his lips down onto hers and sparks exploded behind their eyes. The kiss grew passionate and neither could think of a kiss as magical as this one.

The rain drops fell from the sky like tears of joy. The only thing that could be heard was the slight rumble of thunder in the distance.

And listen to the thunder