Why did this season have to turn out this way?

It's miraculous I've made it this far, but it's too hectic.

Too unbearable.

I've voted for Sierra each and every time. Why can't people do the same? They must like seeing me miserable and helpless. I haven't been singing because I want to be out of the game. Away from her. But Chris doesn't seem to notice. Whenever I do sing, Sierra obsesses over it. What, do I have to start singing terribly? Make myself fat and ugly? That probably wouldn't stop her.

My cheeks are sore from her pinches and my body feels crushed from how many times she's hugged me. Even though it's another one of his schemes, I really have to praise Alejandro for trying to break our fake marriage apart. Maybe somebody's feeling sympathetic for once!

Countless times I've seen my things in her possession. Hasn't she ever heard of permission? If she loves me so much then she should know what respect means... I think she's oblivious to my real feelings. So I..

I really have to let her know, now..

She began to approach me. But I stopped her in her tracks when she was just a breadth's distance away from me.

"Sierra, stop right there," I snapped. Or, attempted to. "If we weren't on a plane I'd have a restraining order filed against you. I like you, Sierra, but not like that! I have had it with your obsessions and I just wish you'd leave me alone. If you really love me, then you'd know how to respect that!"

I could see my tone got to her because her head sunk down like a scolded puppy. I made sure my face was cold, my arms crossed over my chest. That wasn't the first time I've snapped at her. I hope this is the one.

She looked down for a moment before slowly turning around and walking away. I sat there, breathing more erratically than usual. If that doesn't fix her, I don't know what will. But that was the first time she's just... Walked away. Without saying anything to me. I waited until I heard her close the door to the economy compartment before exhaling and plopping back onto the bench. Something inside me wanted to feel guilty, but another something felt so right.

The next morning at breakfast, I felt relieved. I wasn't bothered at all that night! But it was.. Odd that I was alone at the end of the table. I looked around and saw Heather glaring at Alejandro, Al looking dreamily at her, and Courtney and Blaineley looking dreamily at him. Duncan was carving pictures of Gwen into the table. Lucky bastard. And Sierra was.. At a table all by herself? I pursed my lips and looked down at my food, hesitating before continuing to eat.

Later on that day I noticed something: Sierra was no longer wearing that necklace-locket she has, with the picture of me in it. It was odd to see her with less color. She didn't make eye contact with me whatsoever. She still played the game well, but not as enthusiastically. I didn't like that I didn't get the help she usually provides me... It was now obvious my outburst had gotten to her. She was totally quiet all day. I was starting to question how I really felt about that...

And now came the guilt. She was so mopey and depressed-looking all the time.

How could I hurt a girl this badly? It's like I've always thought of Sierra as a different species. But she's still a girl. Just an average, everyday girl... who needs help in relationships. This was bad. I didn't want to be known as some jerk who puts down girls like that. But what if she returns back to "normal" if I apologize? Perhaps I should be easier next time. An apology seems due, anyway.

Thankfully I won today's challenge. I tried my hardest and put forth my best effort only so I could do as planned tonight. And that plan commenced. I invited Sierra to first class with me. She looked reluctant to go, but she, silently, went anyway.

Up there, just when I was about to talk to her, she spoke before I could: "I'm going to take a shower." Her voice was so low and down. She closed her eyes and turned, walking into the bathroom. I sighed and sat back on one of the first class chairs, fishing into my pocket and retrieving a candy sucker. I satisfied myself with that for now, sitting there and thinking to myself, when I heard the shower water shut off. It seemed like she was in there for an hour.

She came out in her usual outfit, but there was something new. Her hair was down. It was a tad longer than it was when in her braid. Her bangs were still curved over and her hair was wavy and.. to be honest, really gorgeous. To emphasize its beauty, she was brushing through it, thoroughly stroking from top to bottom with ease, proving how silky it must've been.

I sat up after having regained myself, approaching her timidly. "Sierra," I managed. She opened her black eyes and looked down at me with a bored, dull expression. I absent-mindedly held onto my other arm and rubbed it. "I-"

I was cut off by Chris's arrival. Oh, perfect. What could he want up here? ...Well, it was his plane, after all. But, sheesh! Then I saw he had something with him. He settled a platter on the table and looked over at us with a grin. "Dinner is served, Mr. and Mrs. Cody."

Just when he was about to exit, Sierra went over to him, and for the first time since yesterday, I saw her smile. That dreamy expression came over her eyes. I've almost... Missed it.

"Thank you Chris," she cooed in a flirtatious tone, "if only you could stay and enjoy it with me.."

Chris blinked, then chuckled. "As if! I've got a buffet waiting for me in my quarters." He made his exit and Sierra watched him lovingly.

For the first time in my life, I felt a different kind of anger toward Chris. It was a tang of.. jealous anger. But I kept my reactions on the inside.

Jealousy.. It's also the first time I've felt it for someone other than Duncan.

Sierra flirted with Chris without being obsessive for once.

But now she didn't seem interested in eating. She walked off. I walked toward the table and uncovered the platter - there was spaghetti, and rolls. I took a roll and ate it while walking over to her. She was sitting on the couch.

"Sierra," I repeated, making sure I had her attention and there were no interruptions, clutching my arm again. I noticed that that's Gwen's nervous habit. I probably got it from her. "I'm sorry. It's just that... the game is getting so much harder.. and you're.. I'm.. stressed, uh.." I looked away and then back at her, wondering what I could muster next. "I wish you would, at least.. flirt with me.. like you did with Chris.. y'know, calmly.."

She was staring at me the whole time and I found it hard to make eye contact, but I managed. I bit my lip nervously. I was desperately hoping she hasn't drowned me out completely. She still didn't reply.

"You're not a bad person. You just need to.. change your habits.." I paused. "Your hair looks.. really pretty.. down," I sheepishly complimented. Then she managed to smile again, getting up off the couch. I braced myself for a squeal or a rib-crushing hug, but no.

"You think so?" she said. "I'm never going to cut it.." Sierra gracefully ran a hand through her hair, and I could see how smoothly her fingers moved through the beautiful purple strands. She looked distracted as she looked back down to me. It looked like she was going to change her ways after all. I guess she does really genuinely love me. I could see a bulge in her pocket. I reached into it, knowing she wouldn't mind, and took out her necklace. I held it up, preparing to put it back around her neck. "If you promise you can stay like this, I could have a chance liking you.. Liking, liking you." I clipped the necklace back around her neck, admiring the sight of it there once again. Then, she gently gripped my head with her long, slender fingers, tilting it up and leaning her pretty face in. She kissed me for no longer than six seconds, and when she pulled back, I couldn't help but savor the feeling on my lips. Hers were soft and her lipstick tasted like strawberry. That was the first time I've ever been kissed on the lips. Well, with a real kiss. And now I was going to treat her to one for the first time. I reached up on my tippy-toes and pressed my lips to hers this time, lowering my hands to take hers.

When I pulled back I could see an blissful smile on her face. She hooked her arms around me and pressed her forehead to mine. "Oh, Cody. That was your first kiss."

I smiled sheepishly, feeling a petite blush swell at my cheeks. I was really liking the new Sierra.. She was beautiful (well, she always has been), her body was perfectly shaped, her hair was gorgeous, her large eyes, small nose, and glossy lips were all so sweet. But now I could see she had a real beautiful soul. I was really shocked she changed this easily, but I was erratic nonetheless.

She giggled and grabbed my hand, pulling me out of my trance and toward the table. She moved so fast my legs almost lost their balance trying to keep up. She sat down in a seat and I followed suit. Clearly her hyperactivity hadn't completely given up, but I was fine with it just this once.

Sierra took off the lid to the spaghetti platter and shoveled a pile onto her plate. "Bon appetit, hehe."

I smiled sheepishly and watched her slurp at the noodles and pop meatballs into her mouth. I looked down and began to nibble, but just when I looked back up Sierra was leaning in with a strand of spaghetti dangling from her glossy lips. Her smile was pretty cute. I took up the opposite end of the noodle classic Lady and the Tramp style, and we sucked it in 'till our lips touched. She bit the strand in half and leaned back with another giggle, wiping some sauce off my lip. I probably had some of her lip gloss on them, too.

She was fulfilled before I was, and I didn't get a chance to finish when she pulled me out of my seat and led me back to the couch. I sat down without letting go of her hand, and here's where my heart began to pick up the pace. "Sierra?"

She lifted her hand and gently stroked through my hair. It ticked my scalp. In a good, pleasing way.

"You know I would love to go out with you," she said calmly, but I knew she was struggling to muffle her excitement.

I blinked. But I knew I shouldn't be surprised that she read my mind like that. "O-oh, right.."

She giggled. I knew having a relationship would probably screw the game up for us, but that didn't matter. I had no chance of winning with Alejandro or Heather around, anyway.