That was five days ago, and shockingly enough the last time I'd had a chance to see Oliver (alone or otherwise). My father was gone on business and had left the house in the care of Chase and I seeing as Maria was on vacation as well, lovely planning on his part. I put no blame onto my beloved maid's shoulders. We'd spent the majority of the past few days biting each other's heads off as we threw the various chores back and forth between each other's responsibilities.
Dishes were the worst, closely followed by laundry. I swear there would have causalities if we both weren't slightly sane.
On that Sunday I drove my car over to Oliver's house, to my surprise there were several other cars outside the house. Ones I recognized as Trent's and Zander's (which meant that more than likely Blake was here as well). The ground was covered in a thick layer of snow, and just like the last time I'd arrived at his house during the winter I scrutinized and looked at everything outside before knocking on the door. Just as last time I was greeted with –
"Charlie! My dear, this has taken you quite a while," Oliver's mother said.
"What are you talking about?"
"Oliver has been home several days, I assumed you would be here as well," she replied with a slight wink.
A blush crept onto my cheeks; I hoped she blamed it on the cold.
"Well, what am I doing? Come in, come in. The boys are downstairs playing some kind of game."
Leaving my snow covered boots and coat in the front hallway to melt in peace, I walked in my stocking feet down the stairs to the basement I'd seen…well, pretty much never before in my life. It wasn't bad. Wood paneling covered the walls and it was carpeted. From what I could tell there was a small bar to my left (devoid of all alcohol) and in front of me was a recliner and a leather couch. It was some of the most mismatched furniture I'd ever seen but somehow seeing it in a basement just made it all that more acceptable.
At least in my opinion, my mother may have thought differently.
It was Zander, who was on the previously mentioned couch, who noticed me at the foot of the stairs first. My hands were in my pockets as I rocked slightly uncomfortable on my heels. I wasn't sure I was welcomed currently.
As much as they always insisted that they didn't need as much 'guy time' as I thought they might, I still felt weird walking into a group of them unannounced. It was different when it was planned already.
"Charlie, what are you doing here?" Zander asked, causing Oliver and Blake to jump – or to hop in Oliver's case seeing as he was sitting in the recliner with his crutches to his left.
"I, uh, came to see Oliver. I can come back later though if you like."
"No, no, now's fine," Blake said.
It was then that I noticed what game was on the screen.
I couldn't help but let out a groan.
"Rock Band? Really?"
Oliver grinned and held out the guitar he was holding. "Care to give it a shot?"
"And risk humiliation? No thank you."
"Oh come on, we're all ridiculously out of practice."
"Doesn't change the fact you're also ridiculously better than me."
"Just take the damn thing," Trent said with an exasperated expression. "He's going to keep shoving it at you every time until you play at least one song, so would you please just do it?" He paused and cleared his throat. "Uhm, please, for me?"
better," I commented. "What's wrong with you?"
"Sophia's been trying to call him all day," Oliver said filling me in. "Apparently she's 'really sorry'."
My gaze flew quickly back to Trent, a slight glint caught my eye and I realized that he was wearing the ring I'd given him. "You haven't picked up the phone, right?"
"Just the one time, but I hung up rather quickly."
"Good," I said with a nod. "Good."
"I'm not going to get back together with her," Trent mumbled.
you keep that in mind once you see her again. Shove her in Cameron's
direction, why don't you?"
A smirk played on his lips as he handed me his guitar instead and went to sit on the couch beside Zander. I looked at the huge plastic thing. The daunting colored keys at the top of the neck. The strum that was already taunting me, it knew what a failure I was. It knew everything.
"Do I have to?"
"Yes," echoed throughout the room.
I pulled the strap over my head and stood beside Blake – who was on vocals – and almost right in front of Zander – who apparently was playing the drum set. Shortly after getting my ass hit with a pair of drumsticks I moved to Blake's other side and stood there, waiting for the song to begin.
Little did I know it was already on its way to happening.
Also, little did I know that Trent had left this guitar on the Hard setting.
So as I struggled through the first part of the song, I was cautiously watching the other two aisles when I had a second to spare but that happened very little. It didn't take much longer after that for one of the other's to fail…Oliver.
"What is that?" I asked still trying to pay attention.
"Do you know how hard it is to switch which way you hold this guitar? It's not easy, it's not easy," Oliver replied just as Blake used the 'star power' feature to save him and bring him back into the game.
It was several hours later when the other three boys claimed to need to be home for dinner and suddenly it was Oliver and I left in the basement. For some reason, for me, it was somewhat awkward being alone together like this without being in some kind of argument or another. I fell back into the spot that Zander had just abandoned and pulled my legs up to my chest, glancing over at Oliver every few seconds.
"What are you doing?" He asked me with half a smile.
"Right, but why are you doing it over there?" He continued patting his lap for me to come and sit on.
"Are you sure about that? I'm slightly heavier than a guitar."
"I can handle it, get over here."
Moving slowly from my position on the couch to sitting on his lap, all awkwardness melted away as soon as my butt made contact with his lap. His arms made their way so easily and so fluidly around my waist, causing me to curl up further into his chest and allow my head to rest casually on the side of his forehead. I could feel his breathing on my hip and for some reason this comforted me greatly (maybe it was because it didn't seem strained at all).
"So," I repeated.
"I never gave you your Christmas gift," he finished.
"And you never gave me one."
"You're very observant."
"I assume there is something."
"Isn't not arguing with you enough of a gift?" I teased with a slight nuzzle to his nose.
"I suppose it is."
"There's a gift."
know there is, I could see wrapping paper sticking out of your
I leaned away from him and swatted at his shoulder. "You jerk. You cheated."
did not. Now, if I'd opened it already that would have been
I sighed, he'd won.
"So does that mean you'd like the gift now?"
He nodded intensely. With that I got off of his lap, with a slight struggle for his arms to release me from his iron grip, and headed towards the bottom stair where I'd dropped my purse earlier when I arrived. I took the two packages from the depths of the monstrous purse and brought them back over to him…but I knew something was up the second I looked into his face.
"Could you go into that closet over there?"
"Oh, just do it."
Before taking off towards the location I'd been instructed, I rolled my eyes and took my sweet time getting over there. Upon opening the door I expected something (or someone) to jump out at me but I was sorely disappointed when there was nothing except a few coats and a rather large bookshelf of board games.
"Did you want to play Clue or something?" I asked looking back at him.
It was his turn to roll his eyes. "Look at the floor."
Doing as I was told, I turned back around and my gaze fell to the floor…where a small box that was pearl in color was staring back at me. Bending over, I picked it up and felt the lightness in my eyes.
"Don't open it yet," Oliver commanded just as my fingers were going to the crease.
Walking back over to him, I sat on the closet part of the couch to his chair and stared at the small box in my hands. It was almost identical to the box I'd given Trent, except for it was covered in a pearl satin rather than the velvet…because of this I was quite certain I knew what was going to meet me when I opened it. I was frightened that I would be met with a little bit more than I was ready to deal with.
"Can I go first?" He asked carefully and with that same half a smile on his lips.
Taking the larger one first, Oliver peeled back the wrapping paper quickly & viciously (just as he had the other day at the hospital). When he flipped it open, he was met with the front of the picture frame. Behind the glass was a picture of me standing in front of Wilson's in my adorable (cough) uniform. Blake had insisted on taking this picture, so my leg was kicked up and I was tossing a peace sign at the camera. I thought it was cute…Blake thought I looked like a whore.
Either way, it had to be some kind of compliment.
"I – I figured you could keep that in your room…beside Emily," I said quietly and glancing up at him every few words…though when I mentioned the name I didn't even let my eyes leave the carpet. "I understand that you'll always love her, but I thought maybe…" I looked up and Oliver was staring at me. His free hand reached out and rested on my knee.
"No – no problem."
Yeah, I stuttered. I was slightly shocked by the sincerity in his tone.
"Open the other one," I continued trying to bring lightness back into my voice. "I had a little too much fun in the jewelry store."
"Way to give it away."
"Oh please, like you couldn't tell."
This one he opened slightly slower, though still in basically the same fashion as the other. He was met with a similar box to the one I'd given Trent…except his was a deep red. For some reason the color red reminded me of him, maybe it was all due to that shirt he wore on that occasion I picked out his clothing. I don't know. It was weird, hard to explain. Anyways. Opening the cover, I knew what he would see. It was a simple braided silver ring, a very thin ring of smooth surface going through the middle of it. There was no jewel like Trent's, but I knew Oliver would prefer simplicity rather than extravagance.
"Does mine have an inscription too?" He asked already pulling it from the case, before I had a chance to reply he was looking at the smooth metal. "My Heart, Your Hands," he read from the inside. "What is that supposed to mean?" I knew he knew what it meant; there was that mischievous smile on his face that clearly stated it…but that he wanted me to tell him anyway.
"It means that…that my heart is in your hands. Do with it what you wish."
"Open your gift, Charlie."
kind of reply was that?
Even so, I did what I was told.
Apparently, I was feeling very obedient.
My fingers played along the crease for a moment before prying it open and letting the top click back. Inside the box was a thin silver band, with 4 very small pearls IN the ring. Like actually in it so there wasn't any weird bumpiness when you ran your finger over the top (which I did several times before removing the ring from the box and setting it on my lap – the box, not the ring).
going to assume there isn't anything written inside."
"Look in the box."
My eyebrows rose curiously as I lifted the box back up to a level I could read the white satin on the back of the top. "Forever Here, Forever Yours. I Promise."
"That's rather sappy coming from you," I commented lifting my eyes from the box to his.
"My mom helped me pick out something," he admitted.
Sliding it onto my right hand, it fit perfectly…maybe he'd done the same research I'd had to do. While my hands were busy messing with the new addition to my wardrobe, my eyes flew to the watch on my left wrist…telling me if I didn't leave now I was going to be late.
Heck, if I did leave now I was going to be late.
"Oh, shit, I have to go," I muttered looking up apologetically at Oliver.
"Something like that."
Or I have to make dinner and get it on the table before Chase gets home.
"Should I walk you out?" He asked already getting out of the chair.
"That's really not necessary."
I grabbed my things and started to head towards the stairway, I was three stairs off the ground when I heard a shuffling behind me and a grunted, "Wait." I turned to look and saw that Oliver was making his way towards me, crutchless…so I guess you could call his movements somewhat of a waddle.
Which while being completely amusing was also unbelievably adorable.
"What? Did I forget something?"
"No, but I did. Did you really think I was just going to let you walk out of here?" He asked with that crooked smile.
"Well unless you were planning on kidnapping me, then –"
And that was when he kissed me.
And then all too suddenly, he pulled away.
"Okay, you can go now," he said triumphantly.
"Nuh uh," I said before wrapping my arms around his neck and allowing myself to lean into him a little bit. "Do you really think I'm going to let you walk away after that?"
And that was when I kissed him. In most cases in a situation like this the girl might be lifted off her feet and spun around…but considering Oliver's current condition that seemed rather unlikely, as well as dangerous. But, without going into any details (weird I know considering the last time I kissed someone) this kiss was just…marvelous. It was like all of our problems just melted away.
It was like what Jess says to Rory in Gilmore Girls, "If nothing else, we know this works."
Breaking apart from each other, we leaned our foreheads against one another and just gazed.
"Are you sure you have to go?"
I nodded. "As much as I'd love to stay with you, and I plan on doing so for a long time, I have to get home. Chase will be furious if his spaghetti isn't done."
are you cooking spaghetti?"
"It's my turn."
"Right, sure, your turn."
The conversation paused and I pulled backward and began walking up the stairs again.
"I love you, Charlie Williams."
My feet paused on the stairs and I dropped my purse to the ground before turning around and flinging myself back at Oliver…which might have been a bad idea seeing as we both ended up on the floor, sprawled out in slight pain.
"Oh my God, woman, you are trying to kill me," Oliver muttered without moving.
I crawled over to him and rested my chin on his chest, looking down into his face – his eyes were still closed. I could feel his chest rising and falling with each and every breath that he took. "I wouldn't want to do that, who would I kiss then?" I asked, and with that I pecked his lips. One of his arms snaked its way around me as his eyes opened and suddenly I was met with those heart-melting brown orbs of beauty.
Not that I'd ever say that out loud, loving me or not that wouldn't be allowed.
"That's your only concern, who would you kiss?"
"Fine, would I would argue with? Or who would make fun of me about Rock Band? Who would be there for me no matter what?" I paused and grinned. "Who would I love?"
"I thought that much was obvious by now."
"But you've never said it…out loud."
"I love you Oliver James, I love you with all my heart."
He inclined his neck and kissed me again, holding his hand now to the back of my head, his fingers wrapping themselves in my hair making disconnecting impossible – if I wanted to keep my hair attached to my head that was. We remained that way for a few moments until I felt his fingers unravel and it was safe to break again.
"Are you going home?"
think Chase will live."
"That's mighty assumptive of you, Miss Williams." He paused. "You know what they say when you assume."
"I'm willing to risk it."
I was willing to risk everything.