|In Your Arms
Author: schradez007 PM
It was stupid. He'd never do something like that. If anything he'd be the guy who sort of forced a kiss in the heat of the moment then fell over apologizing in horror. It wasn't the future she saw. Couldn't be. Just an overactive imagination. Right?Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Horror - Words: 1,515 - Favs: 2 - Published: 11-10-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2863491
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
She emptied the cup of flour into the bowl, watching the residual cloud rise like vapor. He sat at the table, snickering at some meme-based website, probably. It shouldn't bother her he assumed control of her computer, she told herself as she shook powdered cinnamon into the bowl. Picking up a fork, she began pressing the flour and cinnamon into the butter-egg-sugar confection at the bottom of the bowl, mixing it in slow, circular motions. It did, though, a silly little thought nagging the corner of her mind.
A few minutes later, as she poured the chocolate chips into the mix, she felt him standing behind her, a few steps to the left. "How're they coming?" he said.
"About to throw them in the oven." She blinked. "Which isn't on. Turn it to 350, would you?"
"Sure." He pressed the display buttons as she reached into the bowl and scooped out an unshaped lump of dough. She rolled it over in her hands once, forming a neat sphere and setting it on the pan. Despite the slick of dough clinging to her hands, something about the simple act of creation soothed her.
He was still standing there, watching. Not close enough to radiate body heat, but in arm's-reach.
There was nothing wrong here. Two of her suitemates were in their rooms, doing homework, nonetheless, but almost present. He was a nice guy. Tried to kiss her once after their one date, but she wasn't ready. Never would be, for him. When she looked at him she saw a guy about her height, blond hair curling under his ears and pale blue eyes under the rim of a battered red baseball cap, jeans ripped at the knees and chewed-up brown Cons. Nice. That was all. She felt no fire or flutter or even spark.
She set the last ball of dough on the tray a moment later. "And done." She kept her voice casual, self-deprecatory, friendly but uninterested in that way. The pan went in the oven, the bowl in the dishwasher, and when she turned from the sink, crumpling a paper towel between her hands, she saw something.
She saw him grabbing her by the shoulders, spinning her into the far wall, hands sliding down her arms to trap her elbows against the wall, her eyes widening, mouth opening to protest, scream, him silencing her with his mouth on hers and her struggling, head pinned to the wall, unable to move.
It was a glimpse, a moment, but she knew her reactions flashed across her face, because he took a step back. "You alright?"
It was stupid. He'd never do something like that. If anything he'd be the guy who sort of forced a kiss in the heat of the moment then fell over apologizing in horror. It wasn't the future she saw. Couldn't be. Just an overactive imagination. Right? She realized she was still standing there, sliver of paper towel poking through her closed palms. She forced a smile. "Yeah. Just spaced out for a moment."
He tried a smile. "Okay. You looked kinda freaked out."
Though nothing had happened, nothing would, she felt a whispering sense of dread creeping into her gut, a black mist at the edge of her senses, lingering. Not enough to legitimately panic, not even close, but a feeling that shouldn't be there, a weed. She shrugged and stepped past him to the trash can, popping the lid and dropping in the towel.
She made an excuse about a study group almost as soon as the cookies were finished. Grabbed her keys, let him show himself out, took off across the road. She shivered as she paced down the next few blocks, feet crunching leaves. She hadn't thought of a jacket. Her black thermal was long-sleeved, waffle-textured, but thin, only warm where it overlapped her jeans. She made it to the right house a few moments later. The streetlight cast her as silhouette, thin and indistinct. She gathered her courage and knocked.
A dog barked inside, and she heard nails scrabbling against floor. A man ordered the dog back, and the porch door swung open a minute later. He was wearing a pair of stonewashed blue jeans and nothing else, bent over, grabbing the retriever's collar as he pushed open the swing door. "Sorry about Loki, he's hyperactive as heck today."
"It's okay." She bent down, let the dog sniff her hands, give her an enthusiastic lick across the face. Eventually he calmed and ran towards the back of the house, probably to fetch a tennis ball. He loved to play.
"So, what's up? Wasn't expecting you to stop by." He stood, and she realized, again, he wasn't wearing a shirt, and flecks of water danced from his hair. Fresh out of the shower. He was taller than her by a few inches. She always forgot that until she saw him.
"I just...." What? Panicked from an overactive imagination? Ran out of her house because of a premonition? She didn't know what to say, so she just walked over the threshold and wrapped her arms around him, bare chest and all.
She felt him tense for an instant before carefully pulling her in with one arm across her back. His voice softened. "Hey, what's going on?"
Her breath shuddered. "I...Kale was over, I was making cookies, and I just...God, this sounds so stupid, but I don't know, it just felt really weird."
"I thought you two weren't going out?"
"We aren't. But I think he still wants to. And...I don't know, he was just kind of standing over my shoulder and it really freaked me out, and I don't get why."
"Yet you're jumping me when I'm not wearing a shirt and that isn't freaking you out?"
She felt her face flame, and stepped back. "Um. Sorry, geeze, I wasn't thinking-" She caught the glimmer in his eyes and flushed again. "Dadgum you."
He laughed. "I get that a lot." He pointed at the couch. "Take a seat, let me grab a shirt before I freeze, and I'll be right there."
She sat. He disappeared up the stairs. Loki trotted over and rested his head on her knee, slobbering. She sighed and sank into the worn leather, idly massaging Loki's ears.
Stairs creaked, and he reappeared in a blue and black plaid. It looked soft. Slapping Loki's rump, he sat at the other end of the couch and turned towards her. "So."
"I...I don't know. I mean, nothing happened. I don't think anything would have, but...something just felt wrong and I got freaked out." She pushed an errant bang behind her ears. "He's a nice guy, he'd never do anything, but I just got this weird feeling...and now I'm not making any sense."
He lifted a shoulder. "It makes enough sense. My question is, why'd you come to me?"
She bit the edge of her lip. "I mean, this sounds stupid, but you've stood that close to me a million times, and like, I can be in a crowd and know exactly where you're standing in relation to me, every time. It's weird, and I don't even get that, but not once did I ever get weirded out by it. It's just..." She released a breath. She didn't do this spill-your-guts thing well. "I guess I just started thinking that if you'd been standing there instead of him I'd've felt perfectly safe."
He blinked, rubbed his jaw. "Well. Thanks."
She knew he meant it, was just surprised by her saying that. She was too. "Yeah." She shrugged. "That's about it." Now she felt like a class-A moron, filed away in his mind as a silly girl. She stood. "Sorry, I didn't mean to barge in, I'd better be heading back."
He blocked her path to the door in half a heartbeat, eyes fixed on hers. Carefully, he placed his hands on her shoulders. "I'm sorry it turned out that way with him. But I'm not him, and, well, I guess I'm here for you. You're an amazing girl and no one should freak you out like that."
She could feel Loki sniffing the back of her knees. Mostly, she felt his hands on her shoulders. "Thanks." She blinked. "I'm not crying, I promise."
"There's nothing wrong with that even if you were. Which you aren't. Of course."
She half-laughed, half-coughed, and he pulled her into a real hug, one where she wrapped her arms around him, closing her right hand around her left wrist and letting herself relax, cheek rubbing against his shirt. It was soft. And she was right. She did feel safe.