A/N: This is one scene that I imagined from something bigger that I'm currently (slowly) working on. The final story is intended to be fantasy, but this chapter on its own fit better under the romance genre. This is the first time that I've written a scene like this, so let me know what you think. Be honest! Happy reading.

I woke to the sound of screaming. Blearily, I stared around, wondering where I was. I was on the couch, and I'd fallen asleep with the television on again. I watched the horror movie for a few seconds, internally cursing the heroine as she stumbled down a dark shadowy corridor. The screaming rose to a crescendo and I flicked off the TV. I stretched, trying to loosen the kinks in my neck. A glance at the clock on the wall told me that it was only nine-thirty. I must have been more tired than I thought.

I had just dragged my butt off the couch to head upstairs when there was a light knock on the front door. It was probably Ben. I took my time getting there, and the visitor knocked, louder this time.

"Helena? Let me in, will ya? It's freezing out here!" My best friend's voice came muffled through the door. I wasn't expecting him, but it wasn't at all unusual for one of us to show up at the other's house at all hours and for all reasons.

"Coming, coming," I grumbled as I unlocked the door. It was unseasonably cold outside, and Ben slipped in through the smallest possible crack, but some frigid air still drifted in, making me shiver. I went into the tiny kitchen and sat at the table, scratching my head and yawning widely. Ben sat across from me, watching me fight off sleep. He had a strange look on his normally open face. It made me wonder if maybe he had a more serious purpose for this visit than just a social call.

"Did you just wake up?" His tone was slightly mocking.

"Maybe. What's it to you?" I bantered back.

"Nothing. Just that your hair's a mess." I automatically reached up to smooth down my sleep-mussed hair, but after a few seconds of pulling at the tangles, I gave it up as useless.

"Sexy," he commented, raising his eyebrows. I snorted and rolled my eyes.

"So, to what do I owe the dubious pleasure of your company?" I raised an inquisitive eyebrow and pursed my lips. Ben grinned.

"You know you love me." It was his usual response when I pretended to be annoyed with him (in truth, I was always glad to see him), but this time, it felt like there was some hidden meaning behind the words. That indecipherable look was back in his eyes. He continued to stare at me meaningfully--it was like he was trying to give me some sort of message telepathically. For some unfathomable reason, I felt warmth creeping up my neck as we looked at each other. Holy crap. Was Ben making me blush? A minute of tense silence passed before I reached my limit and suddenly jumped up, asking him if he wanted something to drink.

"No, thanks," he said. "I can't stay long." I opened the fridge and rummaged around, looking for the last water bottle that I knew was in there somewhere. I finally found it hidden behind some leftover take-out and turned to ask him again if he wanted anything. The water bottle slipped through my fingers. Ben caught it before it had a chance to hit the floor.

He had silently followed me to the refrigerator and now he was only a few inches away. I had to look up and up to meet his eyes.

The things I saw there… They frightened me, while simultaneously making my blood sing. My mind raced around in circles and there seemed to be a disconnect between my brain and my body. I was so aware of his closeness that I could feel an electric current flowing between us--between our hands which almost touched, and between our hearts, separated by only a few short inches of air. I imagined the wide-eyed bewilderment that showed on my face, but was helpless to do anything about it.

"Ben…?" I whispered. My breathing was uneven. He reached around me to set the bottle of water on the counter, bringing him even closer.

"Yes?" His low voice was like a purr, and I could feel its soft vibrations reflected in the frantic thumping of my heart.

"What are you doing?" My voice shook. His mouth spread into a slow smile that sent an exhilarating thrill up my spine.

"I wanted to tell you something before I leave." Worry touched his eyes now, the barest hint of doubt. His hands were somehow on my hips, his touch so light, not restraining. I still had the option to pull away, to end whatever this was before it got to where it was going. But I didn't move.

I didn't think about the fact that this was Ben, my best friend, who had me pinned up against the cool surface of the refrigerator. All I could think of was the fact that his hands on my hips, and his cool breath on my face, and his eyes burning into mine; all of this combined to make my pulse fly, and my breathing heavy, and my mind to go blank of anything that wasn't him. I'd fallen completely.

Slowly, hesitantly, he bent his head down and touched his lips to mine in the gentlest of kisses. The second we made contact was like releasing the floodwaters--I never had a chance. As our mouths moved together so sweetly, I was hypersensitive to where my body pressed against his--at the hips, at the chest--and suddenly, I found my hands tangled in his hair, straining to somehow pull him even closer. He kissed my face, my neck, my hair, always making his way back to my scorching lips. His intoxicating smell was in my nose and in my mouth and his arms were wrapped tightly around my waist, as if that was where they'd always meant to be and that was where they meant to stay. I wondered if maybe I was dreaming. The kisses became less soft and hungrier as the seconds passed and the desperation of each renewed kiss only made me want more.

I finally forced myself to break away, gasping for air. He was breathing as hard as I was, and he looked…happy. Overjoyed, in fact, like he had just achieved something that he'd been after for a very long time…

"Is that what you wanted to tell me?" It was almost embarrassing how shaky my voice sounded. His low chuckle sent lovely tingles up and down my arms, which still rested around his neck.

"Yes, that was it. What do you think?" he asked, his voice deep and husky. Though he watched me carefully, his smile was radiant and beautiful, lighting up his sweet face. I could feel the grin mirrored on my own; I was practically giddy.

"I don't know," I said, frowning slightly. Ben looked worried and made to put a few inches of distance between us, but I tightened my grip to keep him where he was. I looked him directly in the eyes before speaking.

"I think you should tell it to me again."

He laughed, brought his hands up to cradle my face and went to it with great enthusiasm. This time was even better. It was slow and sweet and smoldering. I melted in his arms, there in the kitchen, up against the refrigerator.

Ben's maddening kisses were having a strong effect on my heart rate and breathing, and I was beginning to feel faint, when we both heard the distinct sound of the front door closing.

We stiffened for the briefest of seconds before fairly exploding apart. So that, when my aunt walked through the kitchen door a scant few seconds later, Ben and I were each alone, with the entire distance of the small kitchen between us. He sat at the table, still watching me with that glint in his eye; I leaned against the sink, red-faced as I tried to hide my nervousness by taking a swig of water from the forgotten bottle.

Nancy paused as she caught sight of us and the tense atmosphere. She glanced wearily between Ben's concentrated gaze and my blush before speaking tactfully.

"Am I interrupting something?"

A/N: As of today, I have over 200 hits on this story, but only six reviews! Please, if you read far enough that you're now reading this, just hit the little button and leave a review to tell me what you thought. I promise, if you leave one for me, I'll leave one for a story of yours. Thanks!