all. night. long.
because he's awake all night, every night, and dammit you want to change that.
(two boys who are infatuated from the very beginning of time and all's well that ends well.)
The first thing I notice at this fair isn't the lighting (bright and flashy and loud) or the rides (adrenaline-inducing and pulse-rocketing) or the laughter (hearty and genuine). The one thing that catches my attention from the get-go is the cotton candy, swirling sky blue and hibiscus pink in the machine, nestled comfortably between the ice cream stand and a dart-throwing game.
The cotton candy machine, sitting placidly in its quaint little booth, and the boy operating it.
He makes my heart throb painfully against my ribs, just once, before it goes so still I wonder if it's exploded out of my chest and I look down to check. No, there's no gaping wound in my torso, but if he asked I think I'd make one for him. That much I know about him.
From here, lit up in the god-awful lights that illuminate the booth, I can see him clearly; skin obviously solid peach-cream, long arms that work fluidly at making amusing shapes with the edible strands. A long neck that platforms a beautiful angular face, high cheekbones and high forehead and wide, dark eyes under expressive brows. Dark hair, cascading gracefully every which way and curling slightly at the tips; the kind of ski-slope nose I adored on people and finally a pretty rosy mouth, stretched into a wide smile as he bared white teeth at a customer who wasn't worthy of such a gesture.
And my breath evaporated from my lungs, leaving me silent and drier for words than the Sahara; and an undoubtedly creepy smile on my face.
I know I have to go see him, somehow; I hear a male voice, my companion's, buzzing annoyingly through my mind before I brush it away carelessly. I would see him later; this boy had to be seen now.
I wove through the crowd and my feet, thinking faster than my head, took me toward the dart game. Lightning-fast my brain rationalized; you can't just stand there and stare at him. He'll think you're a freak so watch him from here until you can do something better, until you grow some balls. Just relax.
Before I knew it there were ten darts in my hand and the man was stepping clear of the backboard. I glance at it; there are balloons studding every inch of the circus backdrop and I can't say it'll be difficult to hit one.
So I take aim and throw, barely looking to see if the boy is looking back. He's not, head turned to face the blushing girl who was smiling appreciatively at him. And I resolve not to look back (even though it's almost addictive) and survey the board. I'd missed, distracted as I was, and I hate losing. This time when I threw I was completely focused, and maybe only a little bit concerned as to whether or not the boy was watching me.
I lose myself in the hiss-pop-thump rhythm of darts on balloon on backboard, forming abstract patterns with the tiny colored javelins and absently slipping dollar bills from my pocket onto the counter as I continued.
Red balloon, six from the top, eight from the right. Pop.
Blue balloon, three from the top, nine from the right. Pop.
Green balloon, two from the top, seven from the left. Pop.
"So I'm guessing you're good at this game?" A male voice floats into my eardrums, sweet and husky and shocking, and I'm so startled from my concentration that my arm turns, attempting to stop, and the tip of the dart is somehow magically embedded in my arm.
Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. What the fuck?
No, I'm not even really paying attention to the dart now. My thoughts aren't flowing in a 'holy shit I just stabbed myself' direction, but down the river to 'Oh my God it's him'.
Which it was.
Even more beautiful up close, he was; I could see each shade of brilliant dark green-gold that made up his eyes, glimmering in bemusement beneath the lights; the small smile that quirked lips that had to be every inch as sweet as the spun-sugar clouds he worked with.
I couldn't care less that yes, there was a dart sticking into my forearm. I would gladly do it again if he kept his attention on me.
Those lips parted again to reveal a smile as stunning as sunrise and a greeting.
I would never forget that word.
I think I was awestruck from the moment I saw him out of the corner of my eye. Saw him, returned to work, and did a fucking triple-take and stared. But only for a second, because the girl in front of me was demanding my attention. Combined with her desire for both me and the candy I was handing her and her flirtatious conversation, she was becoming very irritating indeed.
Yes, oh, yes. As the girl left I pretended to have other things to do and simply watched. I was definitely awestruck.
He was the kind of boy that you see once and then never again, and he turns your heart black and makes you sick to your stomach with just a smile. He was an angel; dirty blond hair painted in delicate haphazard strokes across his forehead, obscenely bright bright blue eyes radiating from his face. Long legs and defined arms and you could tell he was active; and that smile, the one that slowly stole across his face as he looked around. The one that made your heart break, that turned ash into flame, that made something in my head spin and my heart drop into my stomach.
I could swear he glanced over at me as he left his friend (who paled in comparison to him) and just that thought made me blush just the smallest bit. As stopped in front of the dart game I could swear he definitely looked at me once but I was probably just imagining things; I tangled my fingers in the mess of sugar powder and spiderweb cotton and tried to focus.
Just barely I noticed that I was breathing almost audibly; I chuckled under my breath. I felt like a schoolgirl with her first obsessive crush (which I almost was), truth be told. I checked myself, leaning out the window to deal with my next customer. Under pretense of paying attention to this girl, smiling broadly in that charming manner I seem to have, I looked over at him; he flung the dart shakily and it missed by a mile. He probably had never played before; but that theory was soon overruled as his next dart exploded where a balloon had once been.
As I bade this girl farewell, sending her off with a blush and a satellite of cotton spun sugar, I decided I had to meet this boy; to at least talk to him, and quell the images of his smile in my mind.
I washed my hands, hung up the apron, and left the booth. My shift partner, who happened to be my roommate, gave me a reproachful look as I left but dutifully stood, not asking why or where I was going. For that I was thankful; I didn't think I'd be able to explain the anomaly that this boy was to me.
He was still throwing darts with mechanical precision, staring blankly at the dartboard as he struck random shaped into the wood. I smiled, just a bit, and would I scare him at all? God, I hoped not. I don't know what I want from him yet. Maybe..
...just a smile...
I found myself by his side and, gathering up all the courage I've ever had in life, said, "So I'm guessing you're good at this game?"
Oh my God, I sounded so lame, but probably not as lame as he felt as he flailed jut a bit and oh my God, he just stabbed himself in the arm. I almost laughed out loud though, managing to hold back my amusement as he ignored it completely in favor of a wide-eyed, still slightly surprised smile that I gladly returned.
"Hey," I ventured, sounding much calmer this time, and hopefully this wouldn't be so bad.
"Hey," he says after a moment's notice, the smile settling down and becoming much warmer. "I, ah..hi. I'm Emmett."
The name rolls off his tongue like water and I try it, wondering if it tastes as sweet as it sounds. "Emmett, huh?" Oh yes, it does. (Am I as creepy as I sound?) "I'm Kellan."
"Kellan," he repeats, just like I did, and smiles. My breathing stops for a second, I swear it does, and I try to cover it up. "Nice to meet you."
"Even been to the fair before, Emmett?" I ask, adding his name on the end just because it suits him. He is amazing.
"Not this one, no." He looks shyly at his feet before glancing back up at me with a smile. "It's my first time."
Innocent and oh-so-sweet. "Well, I can show you around if you'd like. I don't have to be back for..well, a while," I tell him, really really really hoping he'll say yes because I want some excuse to follow him around for the rest of forever.
"Okay," Emmett agrees, and I could've danced right there but I wasn't going to. So on the inside I squealed, steeled myself, and grabbed his wrist (his skin was hot beneath my fingers but I liked it).
"Then let's get acquainted, shall we?" I say, trying to disguise the choppiness in my voice created by the erratic beating of my heart.
I'm pleased when he smiles again, bright blue eyes practically glowing. "Okay."
God, you beautiful, beautiful boy. Your smile makes my heart do backflips, and you don't even know it.
I'm so glad he's walking with his back to me right now because my face is on fire and I am absolutely blushing. Like a virgin schoolgirl, embarrassingly enough, and I am only one of those things. Guess which.
Kellan–Kellan, which is such a fitting name for his black-on-white lithe grace–smiles over his shoulder at me and I wonder if he can hear my heart speed up through my wrist. He has to be able to hear it–everyone can, it's that loud.
"So welcome to the state fair," Kellan says, making a mock-bow and kissing my hand. I flush so darkly I'm surprised he hasn't called an ambulance. "I work here every summer when it comes around, so I know the layout. I'll introduce you to some people, show you some stuff–it'll be fun and lead-free, I promise."
This makes me laugh, grinning widely. His eyes are dancing brightly and I think I'm really drooling now. But then his expression becomes a tad bit confused and he glances down; I do as well and oh, shit, that dart is still sticking out of my arm.
I feel like such a fucking idiot.
Kellan raises an eyebrow at me and says, "Maybe you should...take that out?"
"Good idea," I say hastily, and jerk it from my arm. Thankfully the sides are smooth; it doesn't hurt very much but I am bleeding a bit.
Kellan just smiles in a way that makes me feel like a little kid, thankfully not commenting on it, and I just kind of slide the dart into the hand he's outstretched towards me.
Kellan grins and flings the dart; it sinks into the side of a booth with a satisfying thud. I smile at him weakly, pressing my thumb against the puncture, and allow him to grab my arm again.
But instead of holding my wrist like I'd expected, his hand slips into mine and my face is going to explode from how red it is, I swear, and his hands are so cool and soft. He looks at me again as if gauging my reaction and I just smile again, and he does too and God he's gorgeous.
I think I'm in love.
I just had to write this story, I really did. It's probably only going to have a few chapters and probably won't be very long at all unless I get positive feedback. It's going to end up being my sidestory for when I can't write Varsity International or Glendale Law or Bioluminescence, most likely, but I definitely like the weird obsession between Kellan and Emmett.
Speaking of which...whoever gets the joke with their names gets a cookie.