"Paula, Paula I-..." I heard Ness say from across the small alley way that separated our houses. I looked up from my book and out my open, second story window to see Ness sitting at his desk, which was right in front of his window. He had his phone to his ear and a hand on his head. He leaned back in his chair, looking stressed. I hated to see him like this.

"Paula!" he shouted into the phone. I'm guessing it was his girlfriend, Paula, going on about something he said, "Paula! Will you shut up for like, two minutes? It was a joke! I didn't-..." he started but stopped again. He took the phone away from his ear and I could hear very faint shouting coming out of it. He looked annoyed and put the phone back to his ear, "Ok ok, I'm sorry! I'm sorry, alright? I don't know, I'll take you out to lunch or something," there was a pause, "Ok fine, dinner, just lighten up? Ok?" another pause, "Yeah, yeah," pause, "Love you too, bye," he hang up and let out a loud groan, tossing his phone down on the table, "Good god!" he shouted.

"Paula?" I asked softly.

He sighed and put his elbows on the desk. He rubbed his face then rested his chin in his hands, "Yeah. She's complaining about this joke I made about her hair," he said, "She's so sensitive! She can't take a joke!"

I nodded and got up from my bed. I walked over to by desk, which was right in front of my window too, "She is sensitive, no offence," I said. That was as mild as it could get compared to what I really wanted to say about her. She was just some rich, slutty, popular girl at our PSI school. She was the head cheerleader and Ness was the captain of the baseball team. I was just some nerdy art student.

"None taken!" Ness said then shifted to hold his chin with his other hand. He rested his other arm on his desk, "See, she doesn't get my humor like you do. Hell, Jeff doesn't even get my humor like you do!"

I fought down my blush and giddy smile. I forced a normal smile, "I don't see how anyone else can't. You're really funny," I said, hoping it didn't sound like I was flirting with him or anything.

Ness grinned that beautiful smile of his, "Thanks, Lucas! Hey, you wanna come over and play some video games?" he asked.

I smiled a little more and nodded, "Ok. My dad's out again tonight, so it's not like he's gonna miss me or anything," I said, trying not to sound or look sad. My dad hasn't been the same since my mom and brother died. He's been drinking a lot and started getting abusive. I never told Ness about it, but somehow, he knew that it was going on. He would always be there for me if my dad got that way.

Ness didn't comment on the part about my dad, but he gave me a small smile, "Hold on, I'll get the ladder," he said then disappeared from the window. He came back a while later and pushed the ladder out his window to mine. I set the other end of the ladder down on my desk then crawled across the alley way to his house. He moved away from the desk so I could get off it on stand on the floor. "Look at you," he said, "You're like a monkey or something,"

I smiled at him and playfully gave him a light shove, "I'm not a monkey," I said but then plopped down on his bed, bouncing a little.

"Yes you are," he said, shooting me a playful grin. He walked over to his TV and turned it on then turned on the game system. He picked up the two controllers then moved to sit next to me. I scooted over so he would have enough room and took the controller from him when he held it out to me. I just playfully rolled my eyes when he said that, knowing it was useless to argue with him about something like this.

We continued to play until it started to get late and I started to get tired. He asked if I wanted to stay over, but I told him I had to be back in the house when my dad got home, or he would get mad.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Lucas," Ness said after he put the ladder away and I was back in my house.

I smiled back at him, standing at my desk, "Yeah, I'll see you in the morning," I said then closed my window. I never locked it, just in case Ness needed to come over or something. He closed his window too and turned away. I moved to lay in my bed and couldn't help but glance through my window at him. I blushed a little when he took his hat off and shook out his straight, choppy black hair. I really wanted to run my fingers through it then, wanting to know what it felt like. It looked soft and shiny, like silk.

I watched him hang up his hat but then I blushed darkly and buried my face into my pillow when he started to get undressed to put on his PJs. I couldn't help but peak up though, feeling my cheeks burn under my eyes. I started to like him when we were nine and ten, but now that we were sixteen and seventeen, I think I've fallen harder. He was always active, doing something with sports if not baseball, so he had an amazing body. Not too muscular, but just enough showed to make it sexy, and god was he ever. He was tan too, so that only added to his sexiness.

I had to look away when he took off his pants. Even though we had gym together, it was still embarrassing to watch him undress. I stared down at my pillow for a long moment but looked up when I saw the lights in his room turn off. I could see him moving around in his room then crawl into bed. I sighed softly, wishing I could be that pillow he nuzzled his face into, or the blanket that wrapped around him. I gripped my blankets and pulled them over me more but then forced my eyes close so I could get some sleep too.