This was just a random idea I had in my head for a while. Dunno why. I JUST did. XD I actually wrote it down for a fiction class of mine last year, but wasn't able to complete it to my liking until now. wOOt. Go me and my slowness.

"talking"

'thoughts'

Enjoy. :)

ooOoo

Her body tensed, tossing and turning, limbs tangling amongst the powdery blue, sweat-soaked sheets. Sleep refused to befall her. Food made her stomach churn. Light made her eyes water. Sound made her head pound… And the mere thought of encountering another human soul made her want to die.

It was only a headache, a brief stint of anti-sociality, and a minor episode of insomnia; nothing she hadn't dealt with before. But add a persistent case of roof-chatter to the mix, and she had herself an irksome combination.

She couldn't relax her body; couldn't escape her thoughts. She wanted to, quite desperately, but there was nowhere for her to go, even in her mind; it was slowly closing in on her from all sides, trapping her like a grounded bird in a cage.

It was all so stupid; this feeling. This thought. This longing. It refused to leave, haunting and taunting her. And it would continue to, unrelentingly, until she willingly confronted it head on.

So what was she supposed to do? Lie there in bed, staring restlessly at the ceiling, counting the dozens of reasons why she should or shouldn't pick up the phone, write an email, or get into the car and drive? She knew what she had to do.

The only question was…could she do it?

If she did nothing now, she most likely never would. As much as she hated to admit it, it was true. She was the type of person who let people come to her. She neverinitiated anything; it was too hard for her. Too disconcerting.

To be blunt, she was afraid. Afraid of making a mistake. Of taking a risk. Of facing the ultimate rejection. But she couldn't keep hiding behind her fear, allowing it to make excuses for her when her brain and her heart refused to agree with one another. She needed to push it aside, break through the barrier - free herself.

She needed to tell him how she truly felt.

It was now or never.

Before she knew it, she was out of bed, decked in a waist-length black pea coat, thin cotton gloves, tattered blue-jeans, and scuffed sneakers. Popping two pain-killers, she grabbed her purse off her nightstand and clumsily fumbled through it until she found her keys. Yet she yanked them out with such force that they flew from her gloved fingers and into a huge pile of strewn papers and magazines that covered most of the living room floor (no thanks to her lovely roommate).

She stared at the spot where they had fallen, hesitating for a moment before reaching down to retrieve them.

Yeah. She would kind of need those to drive…

Turning on her heel, she flew out her apartment door and stumbled down two flights of stairs, making a not-so-triumphant entrance into the empty lobby. She then half ran, half-slid across the smooth, wooden floor and threw her body into the building's front doors, causing them to give way. A startled breath escaped her as she was met by a huge gust of unexpected wintry wind, but she kept her pace, sprinting across the blackened surface of the parking lot towards her car.

Her space was parallel with the door, so it didn't take her long to spot it in all its empty glory. She came to an abrupt halt, mouth falling agape and eyes widening.

Where the fuck was her car?

She slapped her forehead. It was still at the shop, wasn't it? She had forgotten to pick it up this morning, just as she had predicted she would the other night…

'Note to self: start using a goddamn calendar.'

It took every ounce of her energy not to hijack the car sitting next to her empty space, but, after taking a few breaths of freezing air, she unclenched her fists, relaxed her jaw, and jogged towards the sidewalk, the wet flares of her jeans sloshing underneath her shoed-heels.

It was very cold outside that night, the snow-infested winds swirling and spiraling though the air like mini-tornadoes that had yet to touch ground. The streets were paved with a thin sheet of snow that was slowly building itself up as more fell from the blackened sky, the descending, white specks fluttering in and out of view through the circular rays of light that dotted the street curb.

A strip of vast, open landscape outlined in frozen trees and long side streets that stretched far beyond the bare foliage lay backdrop to the icicled street lamps, slippery sidewalks, and snow-covered roads. In the distance, she could see a secluded settlement that contained a couple of rows of bulky buildings, as well as a few apartment complexes; she couldn't see his from there though. It was hidden behind the grocery store.

A lone car slowly made its way though the growing storm, high beams searching the intersection that lay ahead. She watched, squinting somewhat, as it passed her from the opposite direction, its tires grinding chunks of snow and ice that covered the road. Its rusty-red presence made her feel a little bit better about leaving her home at such a late hour, and yet, at the same time, it didn't; probably because the driver had an efficient means of transportation as opposed to her soaked sneakers.

Stupid, forgetful brain.

It had only been, what, five minutes? But her hands were already frozen, her flushed cheeks and ears stung, and her teeth were chattering rapidly. Why the hell did she have to leave her car at the shop? And why the hell did she have to run out at one in the morning on an errand that could have been done years ago, or at least waited until the sun came up?

Maybe it was because he was going back to California in a little less than ten hours to get a head start on his second semester at Berkeley. Come to think of it, she was actually supposed to drive him into the city so he could catch a 2:00 flight…

Oh.

Perhaps that was why she "unconsciously" left her car at the shop; she absolutely loathed his unnecessary early departures. Why the hell did he have to insist on being such a damn good student? Seniors were supposed to procrastinate!

Her blue eyes fluttered open and closed as falling snowflakes entangled themselves in her soft, brown lashes. A couple of times, she brought a gloved hand to her face, only to take one look at its snowy exterior and bring it back down to her side. Sometimes, she wondered why she even bothered.

With life.

With love.

With anything.

She glanced up at the nearest, forest-green street sign, groaning loudly as she struggled to keep her pace steady. Ten more blocks to go.

A chill descended her spine, racking her body with a wave of shivers. She couldn't decide whether it was just the cold creeping up her coat or a strong sense of foreboding. Why else would she question whether or not it was really worth it? Running all this way in an effort to grasp something – no, someone that may not have even been hers for the taking? After all, there was that other girl; that blonde that lived on the second floor of his building. He had met her randomly during one of his buildings' numerous false fire alarms; Margaret? Molly? Mary? Was that her name? Tall, slim, pretty, and cocky as hell. One of those women who thought she could get her hands on any guy she wanted. And what's worse was that she probably could…

Except for Bryan.

He was her best friend. Her better half. Her personal confidant. Her partner in crime.

She had met him her senior year in high school after he transferred in from the city. At the time, she had been dating a college freshman who attended a local university while he was "seeing" an acquaintance of hers. They became friends during the course of a music class they both attended first semester; it was their mutual passion for the arts that kept them together after that. It was hard, but they went their separate ways after graduation and dated different people throughout their four-year stint (much of which was also spent making unnecessary, late-night phone calls to one another). And while both of their college experiences had been nothing less than incredible, returning home to their dinky town of Hillsboro, Ohio, was still the best part of their entire year…

Even if all they had to come home to was each other.

He had been an orphan since he was six, jumping from foster home to foster home, while she had lost her parents to a drunk driver when she was 15. Unlike Bryan though, she had been able to reside with her older brother until she was old enough to purchase her own apartment. He wasn't too far, but now, hard-core cop, who still gave her piggy-back ride to this very day, lived in Dayton with an abnormally gorgeous wife and two kids.

She bit back a ferocious scream.

Speaking of gorgeous women…

As of late, Bryan had been giving that blasted blonde free guitar lessons on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The lessons would usually extend two to three hours, up until the time she would stop by to watch re-runs of Sci-fi Original Movies with him. She would enter, and Megan/Morgan, or whatever the hell her name was, would slide past her on the way out, making unnecessarily long eye contact while harboring a smirk.

It shouldn't have perturbed her, that frivolous look, but the flames of jealousy and frustration still ignited inside of her. She knew the girl was interested in him. Hell, he probably did too; he'd have to be blind not to. The way her bright, green eyes followed him wherever he went. The way she'd con a hug or two out of him by extending her lower lip into a pathetic and desperate pout. The way she'd latch herself onto his arm while he was walking in from the parking-lot like a disgusting leech…

She squealed as her foot came down on a freezing puddle, the cold, graying slush creeping up her leg like a liquefied snake. Cringing, she hopped to a brief stop, praying that her soaked limb wouldn't solidify and need sudden amputation. But, after standing firmly on her dry foot for a few more seconds, she was able to stumble into a half-skip half-jog, causing the wet ends of her brown hair to flap wildly against her either side of her poorly-clothed body.

Bryan would have prevented something like this from happening. They could have been walking down the road together, arm in arm, laughing about something stupid that had happened earlier, and then, as the obstacle approached, he'd reach out and yank her from its path with such force that she'd tumble into his side. And he, being the refined gentleman that he was, would always take advantage of the situation by wrapping his arm around the small of her back and holding her there, tightening his grip whenever she attempted to slip away. She would bend over and laugh, cupping her hands over her mouth in an effort to muffle her giggles and snorts, her long hair sliding across her back and over her shoulders.

It would sometimes take a while – she knew because she'd usually wait for it – but eventually, he'd reach over and tuck a few stray locks of hair behind her ear, caressing the side of her face with his soft fingers in the process (she had yet to decide whether this action was accidental or intentional). She'd then quickly divert her eyes in his direction and he'd send her this indiscernible look accompanied by a cocky grin; like he knew something that she didn't.

All the hints and innuendoes were meaningless; the signs and signals void. They shouldn't have been, but they were. She had just been so caught up in her own efforts to hide her feelings that she totally missed his. It made her feel stupid. Oblivious. It had been dangling in front of her like a fish on a hook for the past, what, four years? Even all her college friends knew, and they had only met him twice. They just never bothered to say anything. Apparently, they thought it would be better to let her figure it out for herself.

Yeah, somefriends.

Then again, if they had told her, she probably would have never believed them. After all, being naïve was one of her specialties; remaining that way was another one.

But four years? Is that really how long she had forced him to wait? Not that she knew she was making him wait for anything. It never even occurred to her that he could've actually been waiting too, but was putting his feelings aside to accommodate hers.

It should have, but it didn't.

"Dammit!"

She slowed to a staggered walk and then to a frozen stop, her verbal frustration echoing loudly across the blackened sky. Had there been birds resting on the tops of the surrounding trees, they would have fled, bleeding into the moon-lit sky like a hazy, black mist. But in reality, she was alone, running two miles though a late-night snow storm in nothing but a tee-shirt, jeans, and jacket; running to say something that had been unconsciously caught in her throat, desperate to surface but unable.

Running and running and running.

What the hell was she thinking?

Her face contorted as she struggled to catch her breath, folding her arms across her stomach and leaning forward in a fruitless effort to subdue a painful stitch that had spread across her entire midsection. Her breath escaped her lips in warm, white puffs of opaque air, disappearing into the wind as it rushed past her face and disturbed the drier areas of her wavy hair. After standing in a hunched position for a good two minutes, she slowly stood up straight, let her arms fall to her sides, and stared into the distance. The deserted road stretched on for what seemed like miles before it connected with the distant settlement, snow falling as far as the eye could see. It was like staring into a black and white photograph; a moment captured in time.

If only everything could be so peaceful. So simple… But alas, her stubborn brain and naïve heart allowed her life to be anything but.

With wet shoes and soggy socks, she trudged to the next intersection, pausing at the curb as she glanced up at the street signs. She had run another three blocks.

Seven more to go.

Jumping up and down a few times in an effort to get her blood flowing, she broke out into a slow but steady jog, feet pounding softly against the powdery-white concrete, a soft running tune escaping her lips in short, choppy segments.

She had been a runner back in high school; wasn't too bad either. But ever since she had left for college, it became more of a side activity then an everyday, competitive endeavor. It's not like she had stopped doing it completely; she still ran, but on her own accord. That was why the current sluggish and lethargic feeling encompassing her body baffled and bemused her more then ever. She wasn't out of shape or anything, was she? Maybe it was just the cold, her poor choice of shoes, her jacket weighing her down – a combination of the three!

After about ten minutes of breathless humming, she shut off the buzzing radio that was stridently playing inside her head, frustrated with the constant interruption of commercials advertising fear, confusion, jealousy, anger, and resignation. It wasn't easy for her to tune out these persistent thoughts and feelings, but the sight that lay before her, thankfully, aided her in her efforts.

She had finally reached the other side of town, the surrounding emptiness slowly thinning out to accommodate old-fashioned stores, small houses, flickering stoplights, and a couple of roaming cars. The air seemed to be warmer around these parts, but it was probably only because there were larger buildings to shield the side-sweeping wind.

It was a shame that the hour was so late, though; otherwise, she could have stopped inside somewhere to thaw her icicled exterior. The only place open around this time was probably her roommate's bar, but that was way back in the other direction.

Yes, these were the lovely perks of living in a small settlement, 60 miles from the outskirts of Cincinnati; or, as Bryan liked to say: "Oh, the joys of living in an unstipulated hick-town."

Eyes half-open, she reluctantly unclenched her teeth as she rounded a corner, her destination finally in sight.

It was a familiar, black-brick apartment building with metal balconies coated in an off-white hue, a rusty red trim that lined both the very top and bottom floors, and a spacious parking lot with fading yellow numbers and dividing lines. If it weren't for an assortment of glowing windows and a couple of flickering street lamps, the building would have been completely invisible, blending in with the darkness as if it were a part of it.

There were six stories; Bryan lived on the fifth. Last time she was here though, which was probably about a week ago, the elevators were out of order. She blamed it on the blonde. After all, every other problem with that building seemed to have been because of something she had done: a small gas fire that almost torched the entire second floor, a flood that nearly destroyed the bathroom of the resident that lived below her, and - oh! And how could she forget to mention the time everyone on the woman's floor had to evacuate due to the spillage of an awfully potent perfume?

Why they wouldn't just evict the damn bitch was beyond her.

Once she reached the small, open alcove that housed the entrance to the building, she collapsed, face first, against the front doors, desperately gasping for the chilled air that enveloped her body like an invisible blanket. Her mouth was dry and her lips felt chapped, but every time she ran her tongue across them they felt perfectly smooth and wet – not to mention cold. It made her crave something to warm to drink, like hot cocoa or tea.

With her composition regained, she directed her gaze towards the list of fifth-floor residents, bringing a snowy glove up towards the jutting button that sat beside a blue label with his last name printed on it. But just before she pressed it, she froze, index finger poised mere millimeters from the button.

The words left her lips in a soft, breathless tone: "What the hell am I doing here?"

It was a good question. Because the last time she checked, she and Bryan were just friends. But now that she knew how she truly felt about him, everything seemed different, foreign – even frightening. It was as if she were treading into uncharted waters, as familiar and revisited as they may have been.

If she wasn't certain that he felt the same way, than she wouldn't have run two miles in the freezing cold to get there, right? Because all those late night phone conversations had to have meant something. Those playful kisses. Hokey Valentine's Day gifts. Those "just because you're my friend" presents for no apparent reason. If she wasn't right – if she wasn't certain, then she wouldn't have bothered…

Right?

As she continued her mental debate, one of the front doors swung open. She quickly pulled her hand away from the buzzer and spun around to face the person standing in the doorway, heart pounding rapidly in her chest and ears. Her blue eyes met ones of a similar hue, half concealed by shaggy black bangs and a thin cloud of ascending cigarette smoke. A small smile tugged at the corner of her mouth, though it was probably more out of relief then anything. Leave it to his roommate to startle her to death.

Before he could say anything, she brushed past him, flashing him a quick and innocent smile as she called, "Thanks, dude!" over her shoulder.

She gasped as an unexpected wave of warm air hit her face and encircled her body. She paused in mid-stride for a moment, savoring the warmth that now embraced her, and released a soft, contented sigh. Her tired gaze then traveled over towards the plush couches that sat in each of the lobby's four corners, their alluring comfort imploring her to sit down and rest. But being arrested for trespassing because she had been found laying there like some sleepy hobo seeking warmth was not exactly the way she wanted to spend the day of Bryan's departure…

So, instead, she ignored her body's persistent protests to collapse and drunkenly hobbled across the lobby floor, the wet flares of her jeans sloshing in-between her heels and the smooth, marble floor. Her eyes momentarily wandered over towards the door to the landlord's office as she approached the elevator, lower lip caught in a pearly-white death grip. She really hated the guy; he was such a crab-ass. Every time he caught her coming in past midnight, he'd shoot her this nasty glare and say, "What, your own bed not comfortable enough for ya or somethin'?"

Eyes narrowed, she scanned the elevator door for a sign or symbol that might have indicated it was still out of order, but found none. So, taking a deep breath, she brought a wet glove up towards the "up button" and slowly pressed it.

Nothing happened.

She pressed it again, except this time a bit more forcefully.

Still nothing.

She pressed it again and again, faster and faster until she couldn't hold her arm up any longer and it fell to her side.

"No…freaking…way."

Unable to contain her anger and frustration any longer, she released an ear-splitting "damn-it-all-to-fucking-hell!" and kicked the closed metal door, hard. She then released another piercing scream, except this time it was more out of pain then aggravation.

Gasping, she quickly smacked a gloved hand over her mouth, mechanically turning her head back towards the Landlord's silent and unmoving office door. She waited fifteen seconds before releasing the breath she had been holding in the form of a relieved sigh.

This just wasn't her day.

Cursing under her breath, she proceeded to walk towards the nearest staircase for a five-story up-hill hike, struggling to think of it as more of a quick cool down than a sign that Somebody really hated her.

Optimism wasn't her forte.

She took a break after every ten steps, throwing her back against the wall and sliding down until her butt hit the floor. This went on for the next ten minutes - the climbing and collapsing. It was driving her mad, but her strength had faded too much for her to avoid it.

The fifth-floor landing was a beautiful sight; a true jewel among pebbles. The red door shone brightly in the darkened hallway, as if a heavenly presence lay beyond it. Or maybe it was just because there was light from the other side filtering though...

Yeah. Her sanity was definitely starting to slip.

She scrambled though the door and into the well-lit hallway, squinting as her eyes adjusted to the vast change in luminescence. The floor was lined with a royal blue carpet and the walls were off-white, but the light made them look a pale yellow. Tall, brown doors lined either wall, their only distinctions being the golden, three-digit numbers posted in their upper centers.

Her heart began to pound as she turned left and slowly made her way down the hallway towards his door. It was so ridiculous – the butterflies dancing nervously around inside her stomach; it made her steps sluggish and sporadic, her brain a hazy mess, and her face contort and crease.

What the hell was her problem? She had been here countless times before, walked up those very steps, walked down this very hallway. Then again, this was the only time she had actually come to tell her best friend that she loved him, so perhaps it was only natural that she experience some kind of the extreme apprehensiveness…

In a way, it almost validated things.

As she rounded the next corner, a door opened about halfway down the hall, allowing the voices within to be heard. A woman with long blonde hair was the first to exit the room, turning back around to face a brown-haired man who had stepped up behind her and was leaning casually against the open doorway. His arms were crossed, eyes half-concealed by his unruly bangs, and his head was cocked to the side, almost as if he were intrigued.

Allured.

She quickly dashed back around the corner, damp brown hair flying in her wake, and placed a hand over her mouth to muffle a gasp, tasting the fuzzy texture of the wet cotton as it slipped through her parted lips. That stupid blonde. What the hell was she doing there? In his apartment? At 1:30 in the morning! It wasn't a Tuesday or Thursday, was it? No, it was Saturday – well, Sunday now. So then why?

Did he actually spend time with her of his own accord? Willingly? Was she wrong to think that he was beyond Mandy's blatant efforts to seduce him?

Hushing her frantic thoughts, she struggled to tune into what was being said, but it was just too soft. All she could really make out were the pauses in their conversation, a cough here or there from him (the poor guy was still getting over being sick), and an annoying high-pitched laugh from her. She waited there, silently, until the door had clicked shut, the blonde's footsteps had faded, and the stinging sensation in her eyes had numbed. She then closed her eyes, squeezing out the remaining tears that had accumulated behind her lids, took in a deep breath, and cautiously peeked around the corner.

Empty.

She rounded the bend, dragging her right shoulder along the edge, and stopped, burying her face in a large chunk of her hair that was pressed up against the wall. Her brain and her heart were in the midst of a heated battle, and, apparently, her brain was winning because her legs refused to move. She wanted her heart to prevail, but she just couldn't find the strength to assist it.

She felt crippled. Powerless. Anxious. But why? Why did this have to be so goddamn complicated?

Just then, a door flew open, divulging loud footsteps and an angry exclamation: "Dammit, Melissa! You forgot your stupid purse…! Again."

It took her a moment to realize that the voice had faded. That the footsteps had slowed, but were still approaching. That her heart was pounding, but she had yet to move an inch.

"Katie?"

She lifted her gaze, smiling wanly. She didn't know what else to do. "Hi."

He tossed the small, black-leather purse to the side, green eyes softening. "Hey. What are you doing here so late?"

Answer. All she had to do was answer. So why wasn't she? "I…"

Why couldn't she answer?

She gasped as a body appeared in front of her and warm hands gently cupped either of her cheeks. "Geeze, you're frozen. What did you do, walk here?"

She raised her eyes to meet his. They looked so concerned. But for what? Why did he care so much? There was still that blonde…

She looked away. "No. I ran."

His calm expression faltered. She knew it did. She could sense it. "You what?"

"I ran."

He didn't say anything for a moment; he was probably shocked that she had actually made such a valiant effort to come and see him. In the freezing cold. At one in the morning. Shocked or not, he hid any such baffled emotions well. "You're crazy, you know that?" She returned her gaze to his face. He was smiling.

She loved his smile; it was contagious.

She took in a deep breath, releasing it as she replied: "I like to think so."

Her mouth abruptly curved into a disappointed frown as the warmth abruptly left her face, only to reappear at her arm. "Come on. Let's get you inside. I wrote a new song today and would like to play it for you. Then we can talk."

He then turned his body around, arm twisting backwards in an effort to hang on to her wrist, and tugged her from the wall, causing her to stumble and fall into his back. Her senses were immediately overwhelmed by an alluring, musky scent that made her head spin and her legs wobble. She quickly pushed herself away and yanked her arm from his gentle grip.

Spinning around, he opened his mouth, as if to protest, but she cut him off with a swift wave of her hand. "I can walk just fine by myself, thank you." He raised a curious brow, shook his head, and chuckled in response, turning his back to her as if to follow orders.

Little did she know…

She leisurely made her way past him, struggling to focus on the open door before her as opposed to his gorgeous chest, concealed only by a thin, form-fitting brown muscle-tee. But before she was able to reach her refuge, she was caught by the arm, pulled backwards, and embraced from behind. She wanted to squirm, to run away, but the warmth that encircled her body kept her still.

His chin brushed up against her jaw line as he leaned in to reach her ear, hot breath caressing her neck as he whispered: "Quit being so stubborn, will ya? You're making me feel so unloved."

Before she had a chance to respond, he lifted one of her ensnared arms up above her head, twirled her body around, and pulled her close, staring into her eyes with that same, unreadable look; like he knew something that she didn't.

Little did he know…

"Katie…" His face was mere inches from hers now, mouth set in an indignant frown. "Not that I don't immensely enjoy your company, but…what's with the sudden house call? It's not like you to show up unannounced."

A small smile tugged at the corner or her lips. He looked so incredibly adorable when he did that. "I just wanted to see you." She pulled her hands free from their squished position between their bodies and let them fall to her sides. "Is that a crime?"

He laughed, removing his hands from their interlocked position behind her back to place them her forearms. "Of course not. I'm just curious is all." She noticed his eyes flicker from her eyes to her lips and back again. "It's kinda late…"

She frowned. "I'm sorry. Did I wake you?"

He snorted, squeezing her arms as he said: "No way, babe. I never sleep. You should know that by now." He paused, amusement dissipating as he whispered: "Seriously, though…what are you doing here?"

She sighed. What was she supposed to say? This wasn't as easy as they made it look on television. "I…I just…I realized something a few hours ago."

He slowly lifted a brow and smirked, releasing her to place his hands into his jeans pockets as he replied, somewhat cockily: "Did you now? Musta been pretty damn important to send you running all the way here at this hour."

She smacked him lightly on the arm, giggling as she snapped: "Why you dirty little…I'm trying to be serious here!"

He nodded, directing his gaze upwards for a moment as he muttered: "Right, right." There was a mischievously glint in his eyes as he refocused them on her and added: "Just admit it…you're gonna miss me. A lot."

She opened her mouth to retort, blue eyes flashing red for a moment, but decided against it and instead released her comeback in the form of a weary sigh. Yes. She was going to miss him. There was no doubt about that. But…that wasn't why she was there. "Can you just do me a favor?"

Shifting on his weight, he cocked his head to the side and raised a brow once more before rejoining: "Depends on the favor…" The intense glare she shot him made him smile as he added, "I'm just kidding, dudette. I'd do anything for you, and you damn well know that."

She paused, lowering her gaze to his chest for a brief moment before returning it to his expectant one. Did he honestly not know? Was he really that blind? She loved him. To pieces. She could see it in his eyes…

Couldn't he see it in hers?

"Katie?"

She took in a deep breath, despite her pounding heart, and released it slowly, envisioning all of her remaining tension, doubts, and fears slowly slipping away with each molecule of CO2 that exited her mouth.

He was leaving tomorrow. Not forever, but he was leaving none-the-less. And tomorrow, considering he was going to be back at school by nightfall, he'd most likely be too caught up in his own, paranoid preparations to have time to sit down and listen to her babble.

"Are you okay?"

That meant, her only chance to say something…was now.

"Katie…"

It was now…

"Look, why don't we just go inside. I can make you some hot cocoa or something…"

Or never.

"How does that sound?"

Before he say could say anything more, she hurriedly snaked her arms around his waist, looked hard into his eyes, and whispered through slightly parted lips: "Bryan?"

After as short, blank, pause, the brunette blinked, lowered his brows and pouted; like she had just said something that cut him deep. It was really just his way of saying "What?", "Did I do something wrong?", and "Don't tell me you're not in the mood for some of my killer hot chocolate!" all at the same time. Yet, what he actually verbalized was a soft: "Yes?"

She smirked ever-so-slightly. "Just shut up and kiss me."

ooOoo

I just thought I'd add as a quick afterthought that I am AWARE this story is terribly cliché. However, I find that using certain overused sayings at certain times can prove to be somewhat…cute. I mean, come on. Who doesn't love an adorable cliché???

He, he.

Thanks for reading! :)