It was raining again. Probably Tancred getting upset again, Emma thought as she lay facing up through her window at the sky. Damn! For God's sake, why couldn't she stop thinking about him again? For the past three days, all that had entered her mind was 'Tancred this' and 'Tancred that'. It was driving her up the wall insane! Emma had told herself a million times that she wasn't good enough for him, and he would never ever like her as more than a friend. But Emma liked him so much more than as a friend, and that was the problem. She had shed tears over it and tried to protest against it, but she knew that her fears were true and that's were dreams could not happen.

Tancred slammed the wooden door behind him, making the doorknob fall out of its socket, and causing a small photo frame to fall off his bedside cabinet. He stormed over to it, thunder and lightning building up outside. It wasn't pretty when the weather monger and his son argued. Tancred leant down and picked up the picture frame. The glass was now shattered into a million tiny pieces and, being reckless as he normally was, he cut his index finger on a particularly sharp jagged piece. The photo was what, however, interested him the most. It was a picture of him and Emma, hugging. The photo itself had been taken by none other than Lysander Sage, Tancred's best mate in the entire world. Tancred grinned to himself, and his heart sort of shifted a bit, as though embarrassed. The thunder and lightning outside had now sort-of subsided and only one of the Torsson's trees had been blown over. He had always thought of Emma as being special to him, but recently he had come to realise that she meant so much more to him than that. He really liked her. But, and then his slight happiness shifted again and returned to thorough depression, she would never return his feelings. Feeling rather upset, he kicked his bedside cabinet, cracking open the small door and a pile of magazines came pouring out. He jumped onto his bed and tried to sleep.

Early the next morning, Emma, Lysander and Tancred caught the buss right outside the Cathedral. The organ was blaring out, playing hymns in and out of tune. It was quite eerie as everywhere else was totally silent, and there were no people running out of their houses and telling the organist to 'shut it'.

Conversation was rather stiff that morning between Emma and Tancred. They both tripped over their words, blushed tomato red and when it was silent, Tancred nervously patted his electrified hair, and Emma glanced down and stared hard at the chewing gum coated floor. When the bus finally arrived, they all rushed on to attempt to avoid the damned vehicle leaving without them like last week. They rushed to their seats at the back and sat down quickly. Lysander looked and felt rather smug. He had deliberately sat next to the window so that Emma and Tancred were forced to sit next to each other. He laughed in his head and suppressed small urges to giggle when Emma and Tancred make awkward conversation. At one point, he even cheekily whispered into Tancred's ear

'I think Em may like you as well matey boy.' He instantly regretted this when he was elbowed rather hard in the ribs by Tancred. When they finally got to the academy, Lysander and Tancred's little fight had subsided [after several swear words and an awful lot of rain over Lysander's head]. As usual, the green bus was last to get to Bloor's. Emma dawdled in front of the huge iron gates and felt rather reproachful as she had to glance up and see sharp little spikes on top, designed to stop any student from escaping, it made it look and sound like a prison.

'TOLLY! Come on, we haven't all day!' came the shrill shriek of Manfred Bloor, head boy. Emma scurried inside, only to find herself in the company of Olivia Vertigo, her best friend. She looked rather harassed

'Manfred's been hanging around, and when he saw me he was like 'what are you doing?' and then I was like 'I'm waiting for Emma' and then he was like again 'is that so?' so I go 'yep!' she gushed out in her soft lilting voice, 'and then I saw Tancred…' she joked, wolf whistling loudly. It wasn't until Emma started glaring at her, that she finally stopped.

'Come on Liv, we need to get to assembly, or Dr Bloor will have us!' Olivia agreed and together, one with fluorescent green socks and giant six inches black high heels, and one with a pencil behind her ear, they made their way across the playground to the entrance hall.

After one English lesson sat next to Tancred, Emma Tolly was about ready to do herself in, as it were. Their work was to write a paragraph about the person in the world that they most admired. Emma, after long consideration and a long list of people, had chosen Tancred. She tried hard to keep her work hidden from him, as he normally liked to look over at what she was writing, but in the end, she needn't had bothered, for her English teacher, Mr Carp, made her read it aloud anyway. Emma tried to protest, but it didn't work in the slightest. Standing up, shaking magnificently at the knees and blushing tomato red, Emma began,

'The person in the world I most admire is one of my best friends, Tancred Torsson. He is rather brave and courageous and he has a really enchanting endowment. He can be a little prone to having tempers, but he is an incredible friend to me and he is one of the best people you could ever possibly imagine. He always looks out for me and he always talks to me and looks out for me when I'm feeling a bit down. If he ever were to leave me,' Emma hesitated here, not particularly wanting to go on. Mr Carp stood near her and frowned at her until she mumbled the last sentence 'I think my heart would break.'

'Hey Emma, wait up!' Tancred yelled down the corridor. Emma flushed as he bounded up towards her. She paused for a moment and turned around to face him.

'You know that thing you write about me in English? It was really nice, was it true?' Emma hesitated. If he found out that it was, well, she didn't even want to think what his reaction would be.

'Well, urm, yeah.' She told him. Tancred looked rather surprised and opened his mouth to speak, when Emma suddenly exclaimed

'Sorry, Tanc, got to go, got some errrrr homework. See you in art!' and with that, she sped off down the corridor , into the garden, leaving Tancred stood in the Art hallway, mouth open, very confused, and looking like a muppet.

After break, Emma trudged slowly along to art. She loved the subject, and her teacher, Mr Bovolda, but today she was less eager for the lesson. The reason? Tancred Torsson was in her art class. She liked him too much; it was getting out of hand.

Tancred hurried along to art. He really needed to speak to Emma before she got the idea in her head that he was angry with her. It wasn't however, the subject that he liked, he hated art, he was useless at it, but he loved to be in the same room as her. It gave him an adrenaline rush every time he looked at her, her beautiful blonde hair and her gorgeous sparkling eyes. Emma Torsson; hmm, fits pretty well.

Mr Bovolda walked into his lesson just as Emma and Tancred sat down.

'Okay then kids, today we will be having a new seating plan because the majority of you talk way too much!' he laughed 'We're moving into alphabetical order everybody so just sit where I put you.'

'Adkins and Baxter over here.'

'Bull and Debruxelles here please.' The list went on until he reached the T section.

'Tolly and Torsson at the back please, and that's it kids.' Tancred looked at Emma as she delved into her bag and pulled out her pencil case and paintbrush tin. He flashed her an inside melting grin. Emma smiled nervously back at him. Her reaction to him later seemed to fade away in that instance. When she was finally seated properly and was ready, my Bovolda started to talk about their brand new project, but neither Emma nor Tancred was listening. They were just gazing at each other as if they were the only two people in the world. Slowly they started to move towards each other but at this point came a loud shout.

'Oi, you two!' Mr Bovolda said loudly across the classroom at them, 'this is a lesson, not a ….' he grinned at them. Emma and Tancred blushed and then hung their heads quite low, looking at each other from the corner of their eyes. Emma knew that they had shared a special moment, and that maybe, there was some hope for her that her dream could come true. And then, when Emma was least expecting it, Tancred kissed her. It was like heaven to her, all of her fantasies coming true at once. Tancred was silently praising himself. When they finally broke apart, the whole room was silent and every single person in it was staring at them. My Bovolda was stood at the front, chuckling to himself, but after a couple of seconds he said

'Everybody, you know what you're doing, start now.' And the class turned away. Mr Bovolda, still smiling slightly walked to the back of classroom,

'Okay kiddos, we're starting a new project, just a small one, will take up these two periods and then we're done. We're doing portraits of the people/things we love the most. So you two better buck up and do the work or I'll consider putting you in detention.'

'Oh and by the way Emma, your bird sketches got you an A+ for your assignment, well done.' Emma smiled broadly; Mr Bovolda knew full well why she was so good at drawing birds. Tancred took a long glance at Emma then took a sharp 2B pencil and began to draw. They did not say another word to each other for the whole two hours that they were sat next to each other. Emma's face was contorted with concentration whilst Tancred was looking rather frustrated. He knew he couldn't draw properly but he was drawing Emma and he didn't want a single ounce of her beauty to be misinterpreted. At the end of the double period, both however were finished. Tancred's was rather more cartoony but captured the defiant gleam in Emma's eyes. Emma had drawn [and painted] Tancred to a T. The electrified spiky blonde hair, the sparkly green eyes, and the handsome facial features had all been included.

'Woah Em. That's incredible!' Tancred exclaimed when he saw it. Mr Bovolda was currently walking around the room examining everyone's work. Lysander had done an incredible sketch of his girlfriend, Lauren, and he, like Emma, had done a perfect likeness. When Mr B reached the back table belonging to Emma and Tancred, everyone was staring yet again. They looked at each other and laughed rather loudly.

'Well done guys, nice work. And everybody, when you next see them, I want you to give your pictures to the people that you drew.' Emma and Tancred swapped pictures, but just before, Tancred wrote on the back of his portrait

My love from now and always.

Emma rolled it up carefully in her bag and made a mental note to stick it on her wall. She could not have been happier at this moment in time, everything was just how she wanted it to be, and she couldn't ask for anything more.

As they walked out of the class together, Tancred began to speak. But once again, Emma silenced him by placing her index finger on his lips.

'My turn.' She whispered. She stood up on her very tippy-toes and kissed him, the she pushed him away from her, smiled and skipped off down the corridor to lunch. Tancred grinned manically and thought to himself, one step closer to Emma Torsson. Not bad at all son, not bad at all.

Later that day, exactly ten minutes before homework started, Tancred entered the Red King's room with Lysander. Tancred was now, evidently, going out with Emma, and this was the first girl that he had ever been out with that he actually had any kind of emotion for apart from sheer annoyance from people like Tracy Morsell. And he had no clue whatsoever what to do. Whereas, Lysander had been in a happy, easy-going relationship for what, nine months now. How did he do it? Tancred had only ever had girlfriends lasting for no more than three days and all of them had been in it just to be more popular. He pondered about it for a while, until Charlie, Gabriel and Billy all walked in.

'Oh my God Tanc, did you really kiss Emma in the middle of art today?' Charlie enquired nosily. He was a very nosy boy with a very messy mop of brown hair and dark brown eyes, almost the same colour as a tree trunk. Tancred scowled at him and sent a small breeze in Charlie's direction, making his English book fly off the table and hit the shelf of books behind him. Lysander however, replied for him

'Yep, while Mr B was speaking as well!' Tancred scowled again, and sent a wave of fury towards Lysander, who just smirked with amusement.

'Tanc, nice one though,' Gabriel started, 'We all knew that you liked each other and I have to say, Emma's looking happier than I've ever seen her before!' he finished impressively. Billy re-adjusted his glasses, and was about to speak when Manfred and his possy, Dorcas, the twins Idith and Inez, and Joshua Tilpin, the magnet, walked into the room. Several minutes later, when everyone was working with their heads half buried in Maths or Language books, Emma appeared.

'Oh' she said, surprised, 'I didn't realise I was late, sorry.'

'Sit down and shut up Tolly' Manfred commanded in a strict you don't want to cross me I'm in a really bad mood sort of voice. Tancred, provoked by this nasty vulgar little comment stood up and shouted at Manfred

'Oi, leave her alone!' Manfred smirked and Emma feared for the absolute worst. She stood, trying to draw attention to herself rather than to Tancred. This worked rather well.

'TOLLY! What did I just say? SIT DOWN THIS INSTANT!' Manfred screamed at her. Emma hurried to a seat. Being the kind and tactful person that he was, Gabriel had saved Emma a seat between him and Tancred. He beckoned to Emma and patted the seat that he had saved. Emma gave him a thankful and truly grateful smile and then smiled shyly at Tancred. He smiled back at her and continued to look at her, even after her gaze had dropped to her math homework. He smiled broadly until Manfred spoke for the third time,

'Torsson, Tolly, stop flirting and get on with your work! You're disturbing everyone here so just stop it.' Tancred, ready to start shouting defensively at Manfred attempted to stand up, but was pulled back down again by a worried looking Emma. She gripped his hand tightly and whispered in his ear,

'You know what he's capable of. I don't want to lose you.' There was something in her calm, but anxious voice that stopped him and a sudden urge to reach out and kiss her again came close to overpowering him. The expression on Emma's face made Tancred feel instantly better inside, it made her look like the same strange desire had passed through her as well. After that, the two hours of homework never seemed to last that long…