Light shone through the white curtains of my windows, casting its rays upon my form and the form of my lover. I stirred and blinked open my eyes, wishing the sun to disappear for a few more moments. Today was the morn of Christmas Eve and Mum had practically demanded that I attend her annual Christmas party. I had never been quite fond of those gatherings and so, after beginning college life, I never went, always giving excuses about exams and whatnot. Even after college, I always spoke of work and lack of time. This year, however, she would not allow me to get off so easily. After finding out about Felix, the man who lay beside me, she was thrilled and forced me to introduce us to the family- or rather, flaunt us to her colleagues and slightly more successful siblings. My mum was like that, you see. Always bragging about some promotion, or my scholarship to Columbia, or about her marriage to her new rich husband. The latter, by the way, ended up being a joke to the family after he was caught cheating on her with his co-worker, Joel, and they divorced.

Nonetheless, after badgering me for weeks, I complied with her wishes, which meant that today, I had to get up early and dress like the rich snobs that mother called her friends. Oh the pure and utter joy.
Still, despite my obligation, I made no move to awaken my lover, nor did I bother getting up myself. Instead, I snuggled deeper into the covers and closed my eyes, attempting to get a few more hours of sleep. Unfortunately, I've always been the type of person to stay up after being awakened and today was no different.

I heaved a sigh and sat up, dramatically throwing off my covers in the process. I swore silently as Felix stirred and I slowly climbed out of the bed, careful not to disturb him further. We were both less than friendly in the mornings and I didn't feel like dealing with his complaints. I was already in a sour mood. Blasted sunlight.

I stalked around my room for a moment, growing more and more annoyed as I searched for my fluffy white bunny slippers that I wore nearly every day. After a few minutes, I gave up and settled for throwing one of my pillows at the wall instead. Of course, that had absolutely nothing to do with footwear, but it allowed me to unleash the exasperation that had been quickly building up and that was fine with me. It was then that I noticed a pair of long-eared animals staring up at me near the foot of my bed. I blinked and glared at them before throwing them on my feet and heading toward the bathroom.

Turning on the light, I walked in and stared at the mirror. My appearance was definitely a sight to behold. My long ebony hair was frizzy and looked as though lightning had struck me head on. Several strands fell across my face, crossing over my full lips and slightly obscuring my vision by covering both eyes, those of which were a pale green and slightly weary from sleep. Felix's black Columbia University shirt hung loosely over my thin frame, falling slightly from my right shoulder. Gee, if Mum could see me now.

Ah well. Felix didn't care so I sure as hell didn't. With a roll of the eyes, I blew my hair away from my face and made a comb of my fingers, attempting to tame the wild mane that grew from my scalp. I turned on the faucet and splashed water onto my face before taking my toothbrush and ridding myself of morning breath. Several moments later, I emerged from the bathroom and quietly tiptoed back into my room, cursing silently as I nearly tripped over my own feet. I glowered at them and continued muttering certain profanities as I continued my venture into the room and sat on my bed. The alarm clock on the bedside table read 10:39 a.m. and I knew that if I didn't awaken Felix soon, we'd both be late and Mum would cleverly do well with hiding our bodies.

I leaned over his sleeping form and nuzzled the dark mass of chestnut brown hair that fell boyishly over his forehead and framed his oval face. He muttered something incoherent and cuddled closer to me. I giggled softly and ran my fingers through his silky hair, admiring the angelic look upon his face. I stroked his cheek, the tone of my skin contrasting greatly with the pale ivory of his own. Gently, I trailed my fingers toward his mouth, letting my fingertips caress his pale lips, causing him to smile and look even more serene. He looked like such an innocent child the way he slept, despite his twenty-five years. It almost made me envious, seeing how calm and at peace he could be, while I was always a troubled mess of oddities. He had been the only one in my twenty-three years of living that could ever comfort me and make my problems turn to ash, if only for a moment.

The way he held me with his strong arms or stared at me with those mesmerizing oceans of cobalt blue, it was hard to think or care about anything else. Everything about him made me smile. He was just so amazing . . . Like the way he chewed on his lip when he was nervous. The chewing was always slight and barely noticeable unless you were looking right at him. And at times, he'd get so nervous that he'd end up breaking skin and he'd whimper childishly until I came over and kissed it for him. Then he'd get a devilish glint in his eyes and kiss me fully on the lips before grinning and saying "I got you." Somehow I always fell for it.

When I thought about it, his kisses were what I loved and looked forward to the most. They were always gentle and sweet unlike the hungry, possessive kisses that were so common in previous relationships. When we kissed, it was almost like electricity was passing from his lips to mine and it always made me feel as though a thousand butterflies were flittering in my stomach. Each time our lips met, it felt like we were experiencing the pleasures of our first kiss.

A slight smile came to my lips as these thoughts passed through my mind and I snuggled closer to him. Funny how a mere second of examination could cause so many feelings, but he was special that way. Before our paths crossed, I had almost lost faith in love and men. Had you asked me a day, no, an hour, before Felix came into my life, I would've told you without a second thought that love was for fools and that I was going to become a seventy-nine-year-old hag with an infinite amount of felines. But ever since that fateful day at the coffee shop two years ago, things had changed. I was actually happy (despite the occasional temper tantrum) and I felt truly grateful to him for that. I had never told a man that I loved him, but right now I was absolutely sure that Felix would be the one I said it to, if ever.

I kissed his eyelids and laid my head on his bare chest, listening to gentle beat of his heart. The movement must've awakened him because he shifted and lifted his arm, allowing his right hand to rest on my shoulder. "Morning sweetie," he whispered, his voice hoarse and tired from sleep.

"Heya," I said, my tone matching his, though with slightly more cheer. He grinned at my perkiness and turned over so that he was resting on his side and his arm was cradling my head. He kissed the top of my forehead and arched his back to see the alarm clock. He frowned for a moment and looked at me.

"It's Saturday and it's only 10:45 in the morning...."

"So?"

"You're never up this early on a Saturday. What's wrong?"

His frown deepened as I laughed softly. "Nothing's wrong! Mum's party is today remember?"

He groaned and covered his eyes with his other arm. "You must be joshing me..."

I sat up and shook my head, "Nope! Mother Dearest demands our appearance by one o'clock-,"

"Or she'll have our heads." He finished, lowering his arm. "Couldn't we just fake like we're sick?"

"It wouldn't matter if we were bleeding to death, our bodies would still have to be there." I grinned at him as he groaned again.

"It's not that bad, Felix. We show up. We mingle. We eat. We leave. It's that simple."

"If you say so," he sighed and sat up with me, searching my eyes for a moment. "So I've gotta get up now, don't I?"

"Yep! I'm going to take a shower first though, because you take way too long."

"Can't we take one together?" He grinned mischievously. I rolled my eyes and shook my head, scooting off the bed. He whined and grabbed my arm, pulling me back into his embrace. "Why not?"

"Because," I ruffled his hair gently and gave him a knowing look, "we'll end up being much, much later than intended..." He winked at me and nodded.

"Yeah, you're right. Fun is fun but your mum will have a fit." He let me go and we both climbed out of bed. I stretched tiredly and he yawned. "So I guess that means I'm making the coffee, eh?" he said with a laugh.

I nodded at him and started out toward the bathroom again. I halted my steps and looked over at him, beginning to feel a bit uneasy. "Hey, Felix?" I said softly, barely loud enough for him to hear.

He noticed my sudden tension and walked behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist and resting his chin on top of my head. "Yeah, Sweetie?" I shifted uncomfortably against his 6 foot, two inch frame and looked up at him.

"I love you, Felix." I whispered this, preparing for the rejection I was sure was coming. I was surprised when a light came on in his eyes and he kissed me softly. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally broke apart and he nuzzled my hair.

"Hey, Maria?" he said softly, brushing his lips against my ear.

I looked up at him, hopefully. He turned me around to face him, so that we were both staring into each other's eyes. "Yeah, Felix?"

"I love you, too." And with that, he lowered his lips to mine. My eyes fluttered closed and I sighed blissfully against his lips. Oh yeah, we'd definitely be late.