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Lauren stared intently at the screen, her fingers jamming into the correct buttons. Usually, Brayden, her opponent,

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Eh. This is really bad...

was extremely easy to annihilate, but this time was much harder than the rest. Lauren, as the ultimate gamer, was determined to not let him win.

“You getting nervous yet, Brainiac?” she asked, trying to intimidate the hybrid.

Brayden smirked. “Not one bit, as you can see, I, am winning,” he said, not bothering to push his glasses up hither on his face.

Lauren narrowed her eyes, secretly panicking that the boy might actually beat her at her own game. Suddenly, her character was knocked off the screen, and the loud announcer voice said “Game!” Lauren stared at the screen, her eyes wide.

“What!?” she shouted. Brayden looked over at the virtual girl, his face smug. “Sugar Honey Ice Tea!” she shouted, about ready to flip at table. “How in the world did you beat me!?!”

Brayden shrugged, clearly enjoying his victory. “Practice makes perfect, I guess,” he told the fuming girl. Lauren looked like she was about to explode with frustration and anger.

“You cheated!!” she accused, throwing her controller. Brayden just calmly sat there, looking up at her.

“And how could I have possibly done that, Miss Lauren?” he asked, his voice sickening sweet.

“Y-Your brain!” she concluded, pointing to his head. “You conjured up some big, large math equation in your head on how to beat me!” Brayden, still smirking, shook his head.

“That, my dear, is wrong.”

Lauren refused to believe him. “No! You’re wrong!” she shouted, getting up from her spot on the floor. “I’m out of here!” she said, about ready to stomp out of the room, when Brayden caught her shoulder.

“No, Lauren,” he said, causing her to stop. “Don’t go… Just…wait,” he softly said, getting off of the floor himself. Lauren didn’t turn around to face him, for steam was still coming out of her ears. “I… I’m sorry for bragging about my win.” Brayden remembered what Devon had told him about girls: They’re always right, no matter what. “It was mean of me… and… I just wanted to show you that I could play a video game right. To… impress you...”

That caught the animated girl’s attention. Yes, she always knew that the hybrid had a crush on her, but she never really knew how she felt in return.

“Lauren, I-I really like you, and… I know I’m only nine years old… but…” Brayden suddenly stopped that portion of his apology, afraid of where he might’ve been taking it. “I think that you’re really pretty and…I…”

Without thinking, the black haired human-Irken hybrid turned Lauren around to where she was facing him. Her green eyes were large and confused. Brayden was a little speechless himself. He had never seen the girl with so much… innocence… Her emerald eyes were sparkling, reflecting themselves off in Brayden’s glasses.

“And I…” he muttered, getting lost in her beauty. Not thinking, he leaned into her, placing his lips onto hers.

Instantly, he realized what he had done, and he widened his eyes, seeing Lauren’s face before him, doing the same. He pulled away, still in shock at himself. “I-I—“ he tried to apologize, but couldn’t find the right words. Lauren shook her head, trying to clear her head. “I-I didn’t mean to. I swear!” The young hybrid tried desperately to get his not-so-secret love to respond.

Finally, she regained her conscience, and punched Brayden on the arm playfully. “Just don’t do it again!” she told him, a smile emerging on her face. “Unless I say its okay,” she added on. Brayden’s heart leaped in hope.

“Is it okay now?” he asked, hoping that he didn’t just scare her off. Lauren pretended to think for a moment.

“Hm… Nope!” Brayden looked down, disappointed. “Maybe on Christmas.” And then she was off.

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