This story popped into my head when I was in the shower. LOL

Hope you like it!


A paper fluttered onto my desk as Mr. Starkweather passed back our latest biology test. A big fat F was scrawled in red on the very top with a demand for a signature. Typical.

I was failing biology. And not an Asian fail either. My test average was a 48% and my grand total for homework was about five out of the bazillion assignments we had been given.

But hey, who could blame you when you have an abuse father at home who beats you and your mom to a pulp as a sport?

It's not cause I'm dumb either. I'm plenty smart when I actually bother to try. Like football. I'm the star quarterback for my team, the Warriors. I've lead them to championship every year, and because of that, Brown has already drafted me for college admission.

So who the hell would care about passing AP Biology when colleges were vying for you?

I thought this would blow over like every other time, so I messily scribbled a name on the signature line and stuffed it in my backpack for tomorrow.

Oh no, it wasn't like before.

As I was pushing my way out the door, Mr. Starkweather called, "Jace, could I see you for a minute?"

I headed back. "Yeah?"

"About your grade…"

"Yeah, yeah. I know. I'll do better next time."

Starkweather sighed. "You've been pulling this crap every time, and your grade is stooping lower and lower."

Blame it on my dad. "I got it. I'll raise it."

"That's not what I'm worried about. If you don't pull this off, Jace, Brown won't accept you. Or any other school. They don't admit failing students, no matter how good of a football player they are."

Fuck. "Okay, then…"

Starkweather scratched his chin. "There's a tutoring school nearby called The Institute. I want you to go."

"The Institute?" I blurted. "That's for the mental retards!"

"You've got two months til grad. I'm on your side, buddy." He gave me the shoulder nudge. Creepy, since he's a close-to-fifty-year-old grandpa.

So that, my friend, is the sad story of how I ended up on Saturday morning with a group of disgusting, chromosome-mutated (see? I do pay attention in bio) kids who had idiotic grins plastered on their faces. As if they didn't know that this place was a living hell.

Oh, don't be fooled into thinking that my dad willingly let me go. He refused, until Starkweather told him that Brown wouldn't accept me. I could practically see the tiny gears clicking in his head. No college admission = No NFL = No money = No alcohol.

Go figure.

For the first time in my life, I had been hoping that my dad was on my side. Obviously not, since I was sitting here in the Institute. Man, if the guys saw me here, I'd be screwed.

The tutors here all repulse me. I mean, sure, like two out of the thirty were around my age, but the rest of them…wow. I swear, who wears bell bottoms these days? Do they think their Elvis Presley or something?

The two my age were chatting quietly together. One was a guy with glasses, wearing a Game On tshirt and looking real nerdy. His friend, though, was a different story. She was a pretty redhead with lively emerald eyes. Petite. She held a sketchpad in one hand, kinda like an artist. Maybe I could swing her, and get a passing grade in this.

I silently prayed to whatever-was-up-there to get me that girl. Someone must have been listening, because a second later, the principal, Mrs. Branwell, was calling, "Jace Wayland to Room 24 with Clary Fray."

So the redhead was called Clary. Nice name.

She was already in the room when I arrived. Giving me a tight smile, she pointed at the seat in front of her. "Hi. I'm Clary," she said, holding out her hand in a very professional way.


"So, Jace," Clary said. I watched her lips. Mmm, they looked delicious, especially when she said my name. "I guess it's just you and me. One on one tutoring."

"Perfect." I smiled, feeling a twinge of annoyance when Clary didn't blush like other girls. Was she, like, immune to men or something? Lesbian? Then my hopes of passing this shit would go over the waterfall.

"So let's start with some quick questions so I'll know you better. Then I'll give you a quick test to see where you're at."

Damn, this chick was a hard nut to crack.

"Why are you here?" She asked, pen poised over paper.

"For you, sweetheart," I said. She wasn't fooled. Stupid smartass. "Okay, okay." I raised my hands in a defeated way. "I'm obviously failing Biology, so my teacher and old man forced me here."

Clary scribbled something down. "Yeah, I thought so. You didn't look mentally challenged." So she had noticed me after all. Good.

"Why are you here?" I asked, leaning toward her. It typically worked on girls.

"Wrapping up my last volunteer hours," Clary answered smoothly. "Then I'll be done with high school."

"Cool. We're both seniors." I grinned, mulling over the thought. Another advantage. "I'll be going to Brown. Well, hopefully, if I pass Bio."

Clary's face had lost its color. "Brown? Me too. Wow, that's a weird coincidence."

Oh, hell yes. One hot chick at Brown so far.

"I wanted to go to the art academy in New York," she said dreamily. So I was right. She was an artist. "But, you know, parents. They wanted me to become a nurse." Clary sighed. "Anyway, here." The curt-ness was back in her voice. "Take this test."

The test was hard. Maybe I should have paid attention in class. It wasn't a wonder when Clary's face contorted as she marked X after X.

"Why are you even in AP?" Clary frowned. "Damn. We might even need to spend time out of this to catch you up."

Wow. Things couldn't have gotten better. "I'm free all the time, baby," I winked. "Especially at night." Which was a lie, since Valentine beat me to death at night.

"Yeah…no." Clary blew her red curls out of her face, and I wanted so badly to brush it behind her ear for her. But I had a feeling she'd slap my hand, and I was really not looking for another bruise like all the other ones hidden under my clothing. She pushed a stack of papers toward me. "Read this. Answer the questions. We'll go over them on Tuesday at the library. You free at three?"

"Nope. Football practice." Secretly, I was triumphant. This girl wanted to meet. I could totally swing her. No doubt.

"Oh," Clary said, standing up with her bag. "So that's how you got into Brown. I was wondering."

She smirked, hand on the door, ready to leave. Shit, Clary had just dissed me, and it was as sexy as hell. "How about Monday at three?" I asked.

"Sure." And then she was gone, leaving me to wonder at what I had just gotten myself into. Something good, definitely.

I looked down at the pile she'd left. On the very top was a handbook for the Institute, with a post-it attached. Clary had written: Jace, check the manual. Pg 8. Flipping to the page, I found that it was a list of rules and guidelines. In red ink she'd circled:

The affiliation between the students and the tutor must be strictly educational. Nothing more, nothing less.

Grinning, I shut the book. So what if she was off the charts?

I've always been badass.


Why me? Why did I have to get stuck with an arrogant, cocky, sexier-than-hell football player?

God, he was hot. Those muscles…I bet his six – no eight – pack is as hard as metal. And those eyes.


I've never seen anything like it. I almost melted when he stared at me as he walked in the room. But was he a player? Guys like him were always players, weren't they? Besides, by the Institute's rules, I wasn't allowed to be anything other than a tutor to him anyway.

I've always been a rule-abider.

Even if it means abstaining from Jace and his rock hard abs.

Chapter one done. Review if you want me to continue(: