Baby It's Cold Outside
Author's Note: We're currently singing the song Baby It's Cold Outside in my chorus, and since the first time we sang it, this little storyline appeared in my head. I know it's a very short story, but I hope you enjoy it. Feedback is very much appreciated so that I can improve it if I feel the need to. Every review with advise will be taken seriously and put into consideration.
The fire crackled merrily, casting playful shadows on the walls of the dimly lit room. They were accompanied by the ever present lights and sounds of the city outside the window of the high rise apartment, but neither of the room's occupants seemed to be aware of them, or even the fire as it popped and sent a shower of sparks up the chimney. The soft rhythm of familiar Christmas songs playing on the stereo, turned down low to set the mood, went unnoticed as well.
Peter and Rachael were simply too intent on each other to see anything beyond who was cuddled up next to them.
Sometime before, they had pulled the wooly red plaid blanket off the couch and now they were wrapped up in it, sitting in front of the fire and reveling in each other's company.
"I love you," Peter murmured into Rachael's hair, brushing the top of her ear as he did so. He paused there for a moment and closed his eyes, drinking in the smell of her shampoo and feeling the smoothness of her auburn hair against his cheek. This was heaven. Her skin, the silkiness of her blouse against his bare arms—he had removed his sweater what seemed like hours ago, leaving a simple white t-shirt to cover his chest—her hair, her long legs curled up in his lap... He never wanted to move from this spot.
Rachael smiled coyly at his words and turned her head so that they were looking at each other, their noses only millimeters apart. She caught his gaze for a second and then lowered her eyes to his lips, angling her head ever so slightly, she moved it closer to his. "I do too," she whispered, her voice full of mischievousness intentions which made him shiver eagerly. She let her lips brush against his as she formed each of her words.
Peter's mouth twisted into a smile of its own and he leaned forward to capture her lips completely with his. Slowly, he let his lips trail away from hers, down her cheek, her chin, until they were at the nape of her neck and he kissed her there gently as well, letting his arms that were wrapped around her waist tighten. She giggled and stretched slightly in his grasp, lengthening her neck as if to invite him to continue his attentions. He did so gladly, moving his hands up slightly to the bottom button of her blouse. He returned his lips to hers as he undid it, then moved to the one above it and then the one after that, all the while his kisses becoming deeper and more demanding.
At last he was on the last few buttons. The room seemed to be getting hotter, making his task more urgent Rachael's hands were in his hair, her fingers wound around firmly around the curls, keeping his mouth glued on hers. Perhaps it was the other way around. He couldn't tell, but he didn't particularly care either way anyways. He hurried to complete his task.
The clock on the mantelpiece began to chime.
While she didn't pull away, Peter could feel the change in Rachael immediately. Her kisses became less fervent. Her grasp on his hair became less insistent and the strength with which she was using to keep their lips together was lessening. It was almost as if she was becoming more and more distracted with each chime.
After a few moments, she finally did pull away, a troubled expression appearing on her face. As she stopped, Peter stopped as well and he opened his eyes to look at her inquisitively. "What's wrong?" he asked, thoroughly confused. He was positive that things had been going wonderfully and yet she looked so upset! Had he done something wrong without knowing it?
"The clock," Rachael replied, glancing up at it as she began to pull at the blanket, trying to get out from it. "Did you hear it chiming? It's eleven already…" Succeeding in her mission, she let herself slip off of his lap and onto the floor. Her hands immediately moved to the front of her shirt and she began to rebutton it with a concentrated urgency.
Peter's expression mirrored hers as he watched her, but for a completely different reason. The sudden feel of the room's air against his skin where there had been warmth from both Rachael and the blanket before made him shiver. "Huh?" He sounded pathetically disappointed, as he watched her reverse his past minute's work. He looked at Rachael questioningly, feeling unbelievably gypped and unlucky.
"I told you," Rachael said, her tone a bit rushed now as she continued to button. "I wanted to leave at ten thirty." Finishing up the last few, she stood up and walked past the couch into the rest of the room, running her fingers through her hair to straighten it.
"But why?" he asked alarmed. He stood up, letting the blanket fall to the floor forgotten. Peter followed her past the couch, grabbing his sweater from the arm where he has discarded it before. Even with the fire burning, it really was too cold in the house to go around without something… or somebody to keep him warm. "I told you, my parents are out for the night. They won't be home until tomorrow afternoon. There's no way we can get caught."
"I know," she replied, continuing to run one hand through her hair as she collected her purse from amongst the mess they had left on the kitchen table with the other. "It's not that."
"Then what is it?" Peter questioned, coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist once again. Leaning over slightly, he rested his chin in her shoulder and closed his eyes. "Don't go," he begged. "Please."
A hint of a smile appeared on the corner of her mouth, but almost as soon as it appeared she replaced it with the bland look that had been there before so as not to encourage him. "I want to get home at a reasonable time." Rachael explained, picking her cell phone up and dropping it into her purse. "My parents worry when I'm out late."
"They'll worry about you even more if they think you're out in that," He turned his head to look out the window and jabbed his thumb in its direction. "It's snowing. And it's cold outside. That means ice and lots of it. You might hurt yourself."
"I only live a few blocks away," she pointed out, stepping away from him. She began to scour the floor for her shoes. Where had they ended up in the rush of coming into the apartment?
"All the more reason not to leave so soon," He followed hurriedly after her. Seeing her downward gaze he guessed what she was looking for and sent a prayer of thanks for the fact that he was so messy. He knew for a fact that his coat had landed on top of her shoes, next to the front door, but he wasn't about to tell her that. That would only allow her to leave sooner. "Besides," he continued, trying his hardest to distract her. "You're already cold."
"I am?" Rachael turned back to look at him, abandoning her search for the moment. Her hands moved to rest on her hips and she raised an eyebrow dubiously. "How do you know that?"
"Your hands," he replied quickly, taking them in his own and rubbing them as if to warm them up. "They're freezing. I swear. Like ice."
"But they're not," she replied, a crooked smile appearing on her lips. She flashed it at him before giving up on her shoes for the moment and returning to the table where she had left her coat. It was slung over the back of one of the chairs.
Peter glanced the room for something else he could use as an excuse. "But we just started the fire," he insisted. "It would be a waste to just leave it like this without appreciating it fully! And what about your drink?" He gestured to the glass of dark golden liquid on the table. "It would be a shame to leave half of it still there. Yeah! You can drink it in front of the fire with me. It would only take a little longer…" He sent her a pleading look.
The crooked smile remained, but her eyes followed his hand to the glass anyways. It certainly had been interesting seeing him theatrically present one of his father's brandies to her and then pour them each a glass. Hers wasn't the only one still half full either. She supposed it really would be a shame to leave them like that… "Alright," she said. "But I'm leaving as soon as I finish." Rachael picked up her glass and wandered pack over to the couch, taking a seat on it. "And you should know that I'm perfectly aware that that fireplace is gas. All you had to do to get it going is flip a switch."
Peter laughed, relieved for the moment. Flopping down on the couch besides her with his own drink, he draped an arm around her shoulders. "You're right," he admitted. "But really," He took a sip of his drink. "I think you should at least wait a little longer until you leave."
"And why's that?" she asked with good-natured, yet controlled curiously.
"Have you looked out the window lately? It really is snowing. I was serious when I said you could get hurt. You should at least wait until it lets up a bit. Besides, do you really think you'll get a cab in something like this? Even at eleven. They're all going to be taken probably."
It was Rachael's turn to laugh. "I think I'll take my chances," she told him.
They sat in silence for a minute, sipping at their drinks, comfortable with each other's presence. But, as her glass became closer and closer to becoming empty, Peter's panic returned. He just didn't want her to go! At least not yet. He decided to try another approach.
"You know," he said, glancing over at her casually and swirling the last of his drink around in his glass. "I was really hoping you'd drop in tonight. I'm glad you did. I had a really good time."
The crooked smile returned. "You invited me over." She reminded him. "We had a date and then you pestered me into coming back to your place after we were done. Remember?"
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean I was hoping that you'd come over any less." He said simply.
She chuckled. "Well, I did have a good time. I've got to admit that." She drained her glass with one last sip.
"I'm glad. I did too." Peter smiled and squeezed her shoulder affectionately.
Rachael closed eyes briefly, savoring the feeling. However, a moment later she opened them again and turned too look at him apologetically. "But… I do have to go now. Sorry."
"Oh, you're finished?" He eyed her glass and finished his own. "I could pour you another glass if you want," he offered, pretending not to have heard her last statement. "Dad won't notice if we drink one more glass worth."
She shook her head and stood up, heading towards the kitchen to put the glass in the sink. "No. No more, thanks. I would hurt myself on my way home if I had another drink. "
He watched her go for a thoughtful moment before getting off the couch and walking into the kitchen as well. He was careful to step as silently as possible, not wanting to alert Rachael to his approach. It worked. She didn't seem to notice at all as he got closer, step by step.
When he was only a foot behind her, he reached up and covered her eyes with his hands. The feeling of her facial features moving into a grin was encouraging and he took it as a cue to continue. Turning her head to the side carefully so that they were face to face, he gave her a soft, teasing kiss, barely letting his lips touch hers at all.
Rachael let the glass drop into the sink with a quiet clunk and turned around to face him, raising her head so that she could look into his eyes. Sometime during their kiss, her grin had turned into a mischievous smirk. Peter smirked back and responded to her movement, obligingly letting his hands slip from her face and back down to her waist. He linked his hands loosely behind her and, with a small tug, he pulled her closer, closing the distance between them all together.
They stared at each other for a moment, caught in each other's eyes. Neither of them tried to move away. If anything, Peter tightened his grip on Rachael, but neither seemed to notice.
Peter leaned down again for another kiss. This one was stronger, more passionate. Rachael brought her hands back up to his hair and he let his arms roam up and down her back, never loosening even a bit.
After what seemed like ages to both of them, they broke apart, gasping for air. Once Peter caught his breath again, he pulled Rachael back against him. She leaned against him without complaint, rested her head on his chest almost gratefully as she calmed her breathing and replace the air she had lost while they had kissed.
"Stay," Peter coaxed, whispering the simple word in her ear. This time his plea was calm and confident, a far cry from what it had been the first time he had begged it.
Rachael raised her face slowly, letting her eyes leisurely scan upward until they stopped at his eyes, catching them with hers. The mischievous smirk gradually returned. "Fine," she replied. She raised herself onto her tiptoes so as to claim another kiss. "But only because it's cold outside,"