You stole my heart

I rub my eyes and sit up.

What. The. Hell.

Is that – is that someone knocking on my door?

It can't be. No one knocks on my door. Ever. You might think I'm exaggerating when I say that but I'm not lying; no one knocks on my door. Especially this early in the morning because if any – visitors – it's going to be someone in my family.

No one in my family – apart from myself – gets up before noon and it's eight o'clock. I start to think I'm being punked, but then I realise something; I'm not important or famous enough for someone to want to do that, let alone for someone as hot as Ashton Kutcher to travel to Australia for.

I'm usually up at 7:30, being the magpie in a nest full of night owls. But last night I stayed up and watched SBS for ages. I'll let you know; it's all well and good to watch SBS for South Park...just don't watch it for anything else other than that and Topgear.

Because it changes your opinion on everything and anything. It's also not very good for watching late at night because all the stuff on SBS is really weird and philosophical.

The door bell's still ringing. It's not someone who got the wrong house.

I'm definitely not opening that door now because if it isn't someone who's got the wrong address; then it's someone about to pull a prank on me. It's not going to be Ashton Kutcher, or anything like that. But the people in my neighbourhood are total a-holes...and I also happen to steal their newspapers and magazine subscriptions when they're dropped outside their doors.

But it's their fault. I don't steal from anyone who has a mail box. I'm trying to give them life lessons, trying to prepare them for the real world where nasty people steal their mail and their hoses and garbage cans and bikes...

Not that I know anything about that.

I stand up and start quickly moving stuff into my basement.

Someone knocks hard on my door, "Oh come on lady I don't have all day."

"I'll be there in a minute," I gasp out, dashing back and forth between the basement and my living room. It sounded like a guy. Did it sound like a guy? I think it did. I hope to God it's not Cheri O'Conner's boyfriend because last time I saw her she was threatening to get her boyfriend to punch me in the face for nicking her jeans from the clothes line.

She did say her boyfriend had a sexy voice, and this guy's voice is kind of sexy – maybe if he's not Cheri O'Conner's boyfriend I can ask him in and give him that signed cricket bat I stole from the kid a couple houses down that kept pissing on my lawn.

"For crying out loud Christmas will be here in a minute too," he says and I sigh in disappoint, stashing a screwdriver and some butter menthols in a basement cupboard. "Hey nevermind," I hear the doorknob turn, "it's open."

Oh my God I still have a car door and three hockey sticks back in there.

I rush out of the basement, slamming the door and just as the door clicks open I stand in front of it, spreading my arms out wide and keeping one in each end of the frame. I can't believe I left the door unlocked. What kind of criminal am I??

"Hey, sorry about that, had some laundry to do." I laugh nervously and step up on my tiptoes, trying to hide his vision from my living room.

"I thought we were supposed to go canoeing this morning." He says and I blink, narrowing my eyes and squinting at him. Canoeing? I don't remember promising anyone to go canoeing. I don't even remember seeing this guy, and boy, his voice surely doesn't betray his looks.

"What?" I want to know, blinking at him confusedly. "Canoeing? Are you Cheri O'Conner's boyfriend?"

"No," he says, now looking at me confusedly. But like he can talk! Canoeing! Me? Never.

"Oh, alrighty then," I say and pick up the cricket bat carefully from where I had it behind my back, "do you like cricket?"

"Yeah," he says and gives a friendly grin. Or a smirk. I don't know, I haven't been out much lately – the only time I've been out is when I've been nicking stuff or going to the post box and sending my mail (while simultaneously, nicking stuff). "Yeah I do."

"Well here," I say and grin back at him. I hand him the cricket bat. "Shane Warne. Genuine."

"Hey, what do you know, my little brother had one just like this." He plucks it from my hands and I start to panic. Oh my God.

I duck forward and grab the bat back from out of his hands and chuck it back behind me again, "Haha. Just a peek and that's all you're getting from it." I laugh nervously.

"Yeah, here – here is your..." He looks down at the package as he's handing it to me. "...packed lunch I know those zoos overcharge with chips and burgers..."

"I'm not going to the zoo today." I blink, or any other day for that matter. What's he talking about? Didn't he say he's here for canoeing?

He doesn't say anything, just stares at the package. I'm thinking about nicking it when he says, "Nevermind." And shuts the door in my face. I blink and stare at the door.

How strange.

I turn to take the car door back to the basement when the door opens again and I drop the car door, spinning around. I forgot to close the door again! God!

"You know what – not nevermind!" He says and then looks at the car door I've dropped to the floor. "Hey that's...that's my car door...but that isn't the only thing you've stolen from me, you know."

"What?" I say, looking around, God, what else have I stolen from him? I have stolen his car door, his little brothers cricket bat – what else have I stolen?? I look to him and squint my eyes, thinking. He looks kind of mad. "Did I steal your hose?"

"What?" he spits.

"Did I steal your garden hose?" I inquire coolly.

"No." he says and then bites his lip, thinking back. "Well yeah, actually, you might have but that's not what I mean." He narrows his eyes at me and I shrug. What does he want me to say? I'm sorry? I'm not. I didn't mean to? I did. He starts to look dismayed. "Don't you remember me at all?" he wants to know.

I tilt my head at him and squint my eyes. Nope. I don't remember him at all. I shrug and to make him feel better go, "Oh yeah, you look a little familiar..."

"Bullshit." He grins this time and shakes his head at me. He sticks his hands in his pockets and walks right up, looking down at me and then places his arms at the small of my back and I freeze. "Remember this?"

I did remember; I also remember being completely oblivious to what he was trying to do that day, back in 7th grade.

"Jo! I nicked your pencil case." I recall, putting a finger to my chin and grinning back thoughtfully. Jo was a cute, popular boy back then, and me? I didn't care about boys all that much; I cared about nicking things. I still do. But then there's that romantic side of me coming from reading the old lady's romantic novels next door.

Pretty racy for an eighty year old, too.

I want what those girls have, that undying, passionate love. It sounds nice, but too bad it's something you can't steal...

"You surely did," he laughs, looking nostalgic. "I've never been rejected by anyone else than you – and while you were at it you stole my wallet from my back pocket."

He didn't have much in there either; a couple of dollars and a bus ticket.

"Do you want your car door back?" I offer, gesturing towards the car door that lay on the floor beside me. I also spot the cricket bat and feel a little guilty. I don't know why though, it's not like I care what he thinks. I bite my lip and sigh, "and the cricket bat too?"

I don't really like feeling guilty. Most of the time I get caught I don't feel guilty; I just feel panicked at the thought of them reporting me to the cops.

It's totally new for me.

"No, that's not what I want," he says, looking at me in an odd kind of way – a way I haven't been looked at before. It's unnerving, and it's making me feel funny, right in my chest. Like a rollercoaster.

I cool my rockets though and cross my arms over my rollercoaster heart, "Oh yeah? Then what do you want, Jo? Because I don't think I have anything else of yours."

He is still looking at me, though. Right into my eyes, and I'm starting to feel a little paranoid. I raise an eyebrow at him, and say carefully, in a whisper, quite seriously, "Are you trying to get me to confess my sins?"

"You're wrong," he whispers back, and lets go of me. My heart stops feeling like a rollercoaster, it slows and I find a frown gracing my lips. I blink in utter confusion.

"That's not all you took, Lula," he says, and then picks up his car door and cricket bat, "and I'm taking these atleast back."

He glares at me, shakes his head, and then walks back out the door; leaving me standing there confused, tingly and disappointed. But I don't know why.

I know where he is. I know where everyone is if they're anywhere – I have to if I have to get away before they come back and notice their porch swing's gone. He's at the library, and so am I. I asked his mum to make sure.

I don't know why I'm doing it though. Following him. I have been for a couple of days since he came over on false pretences (and didn't even tell me why he really came over). I'm chasing after him almost like...almost like I want to steal him.

Like he's something I want. But ironically, he's something I can't have. You can't have humans. Can you?

Oh, he's looking my way. I hold up my magazine.


"Ahhh..." I mumble at the words that confront me, and blink at them. I look sideways around the magazine and see him picking up a book about computers and html, the question suddenly comes to my mind; does he like me?

He puts the book back and looks over to the bench I'm sitting on, and I pull my head back to the magazine.

There He is Again!

If he always seems to be around (especially if you get the "instinct" that he's there because of you).

No. Not really – I'm the one doing the following, around here. But I don't like him. I like stealing things. He already stole the stuff I stole back.

Staring Contest

If he seems to look into your eyes a little longer than normally.

He does indeed do that. Maybe he likes me, like really really likes me? I mean, that'd be just...awful, I mean...I'd have to disappoint him. Tell him I don't like him.


If you think a guy likes you (trust your gut instinct, girls) but you can't be totally sure, try this: Give him your best smile. If he smiles back, or his face suddenly lights up, tah dah! He likes you. If he starts sweating and looks all flustered, he likes you even more. If his smile is the polite kind, or if he frowns or looks away, that's a bad sign that maybe he isn't interested in you after all.

My best smile. Huh.

I look at him from over my magazine only to realise he's standing right in front of me, "God!" I say and drop the magazine to the ground in shock. My face starts to burn really red and he looks at me, and I look down. Distracting myself from him and my own embarrassment I get down on my knees to reach for the magazine that has slipped underneath a book shelf.

Ugh. I can't believe I just did that – why didn't I play it cool?

My fingers close around it and I pull my head up fast so I can get away fast – but my head smashes onto an above book shelf, "Ow!" I moan and clutch at my head, turning an even brighter red and looking up to see what he's thinking.

He's standing there, looking down at me with crossed arms.

"Hey," he says though not like it's a greeting, more like a 'hey?' than a 'hey' if you ask me.

I pull the magazine up with me and stand up, brushing off imaginary dust and looking anywhere but at him. "Hey," I say back to a spot somewhere beside his head. We stand there, awkwardly, for a few short moments, not saying anything. I clear my throat and force myself to look into his eyes. Give him my best smile.

"How's things, huh?" I say, beaming at him.

"They're...good..." he says, blinking bemusedly at me. He drops his arms and arches an eyebrow at me (what is that supposed to mean? He hasn't smiled back, he hasn't become all flustered and he hasn't frowned or smiled politely either). "Why have you been following me around?"

"I haven't," I beam at him.

"Yes you have," he assures me and I shake my head and glance at the magazine quickly for more tips.

Find out what they're interested in and talk to them about that. People love talking about themselves, so let them.

"Ah, do you, do you like HTML?" I ask and bite my lip, hoping it's something he's interested in and not just some book he picked up.

"What?" he says, sounding a little bemused.

"Oh. Okay. Do you like.." I look down at the magazine.

Don't give them yes or no questions; give them open ones that make them say more. Say, "Do you like such and such, why do you like it? What's your favourite?"

"Do you like computers and if so, why?" I ask robotically, tilting my head and waiting to see the magazine's tips work their magic. He just stares at me, and then narrows his eyes, looking suspicious.

"What are you trying to pull?" he wants to know.

"Nothing," I say, and frown. I'll just have to try again. Compliment them, it will give them pleasure and make them want to talk to you more. I screw up my nose and tilt my head again, and then again, trying to figure out something super nice I can say. What would characters in those romance novels say? It comes to me.

I look into his eyes, "They're like deep pools I could get lost in, and when emotions stir in them it's like throwing pebbles and watching the ripples flow through the ocean. It's beautiful."

He gawks at me, his lips turned. "What the hell?"

"Your eyes," I say, and reach out to touch the spot next to one of them. But he bats my hand away.

"You're nuts," he says and crosses his arms, gaping at me incredulously. "Did you take your meds this morning?"

"Are you insecure that your eyes aren't pretty enough to be loved and lost in without the help of medication? Because it's not true. I only take vitamins." I reach out again but fail once more as he grabs my hand and holds it far away from his eyes.

"You're nuts, take your meds." He spits and doesn't let go of my hand as if afraid I'll reach out and attempt to touch his face again.

I start rubbing circles on his palms and his hand loses all its grip.

I beam at him and he stares at me. He pulls his hand out of mine and steps back away from me; out of touching distance. I'm not sure whether it is a good or bad sign – or even if a good sign really is a good sign.

"You're nuts," he says one last time, and then shaking his head, he goes out of the library and leaves me standing there by myself once again; confused, disappointed but...not tingly at all. I frown down at my feet.

I liked the tingly part.

While your love is preparing the next meal go up behind him or her, and slide your arms around their waist.

I break into his house and smell the bacon and eggs frying, and hear it, too. I know where the kitchen is. I know where everything is; I just hope that's where he is. In the kitchen, baking. So I can try again. I don't know what I'm trying for, but it seems like the thing to do since I already started it.

I follow the smell down to the kitchen and smile to see him, back turned to me and cooking up some bacon and egg rolls. I lean on the frame and watch him for a while; just a short while, though. I don't want to miss my chance.

He burns his hand on the side of the frying pan and curses. I bring a finger to my lips, and press them together to keep from giggling.

I'm moving into action before he makes me laugh or something equally noisy.

I tiptoe up behind him, and then, at the right moment, just as he puts the spatula down on the bench; I fling my arms around his waist.

He swears something shocking and stumbles back against me.

"What the hell?" he says, and looks down at me pressing my face into the back of his denim jacket.

"I'm sorry," I murmur into his jacket, my grip tightening around his waist. "Wasn't I spontaneous enough?"

"Too spontaneous more like it," he says and then disentangles himself from me much to my great disappointment. I stand back and frown, crossing my arms and glaring at him for not cooperating with me. I sigh.

Offer to brush her hair.

Well. He's a he, not a her. But he still has hair I guess and there's no point not trying.

"Can I brush your hair?" I ask as he's turning back to his bacon and eggs. He's flipping the egg and as soon as I say anything he's flipped it the wrong way and it splats on the wall. He turns slowly, his face red. Flustered. That's a good thing!

I beam excitedly at him, "You're embarrassed!"

He just quietly observes me, turning off his oven top.

"Can I still brush your hair?" I want to know. I have my hands right and ready for it, too. But he ignores them, his face red and his hands sticking in his pockets. He sighs, and I blink.

"No, no you can't Lula," he says tiredly, brushing his hair back from his face only to have it fall right back again. "What do you want from me?"

"To brush your hair?" I say, confused.

"No," he says and looks at me meaningfully. "What do you really want?"

What do I really want? I'm not sure. I haven't been sure for a while now. I've stopped stealing things; I've stopped shopping on the internet. I've stopped sitting on my roof and perving on the lady next doors grandson who's about my age. I've stopped everything I used to be doing, for what? To follow him around.

I don't even know why I'm doing that, what was that, that I said before? I want to steal him. That's what I want. But it's like he's some prized diamond in high-top security with laser protection; I'm a good thief, sure. But I don't steal from places with that much security. I'm not stupid.

I can't tell him I want him because asking for something totally defeats the point of stealing it, doesn't it? It'd be more like he gave it away.

"I don't know," I say with a shrug, looking over his shoulder. He leans back on the oven and stares at me, trying to work me out. I smile a small smile of goodbye, and then walk back out of the house.

I don't know what made me do it – but my mum always says that a way to a man's heart, is through his stomach. It's totally true concerning my father; he gives her a whopping big smack on the lips when she makes lasagne.

And I know I can't make lasagne, so it's not like I'm going to get a whopping big smack of a kiss on the lips for this...but I'm hoping to get something, at the very least.

I made soup. No just any soup either, but pumpkin soup; only the best soup known to man kind. I just rang the doorbell and he should be answering it any moment now.

I don't know what empowered me to do this, since it's so not like anything I've ever done for anyone before (besides myself). But I did, and I am – he's inspired me to make soup.

The door swings open and a beautiful Latino girl stands at the door, smiling at me in an inquiring manner, "Hello?" she says, and her voice is like a pop star's it's that tuned. "Can I help you lady?"

When I say girl I mean girl, she's what, sixteen years old to my nineteen? She also just called me lady. She's also standing in Jo's house. She isn't wearing all that much either, jean short-shorts and a skin tight tank top – oh my God. Is she a hooker?

Oh my God. Jo's going at it with a hooker, and illegally, I might add. He's nineteen and she's sixteen! That's illegal.

Okay. So maybe I steal things and that...well that's not exactly legal, but it's not like I go around sleeping with sixteen year old girls, or boys for that matter. What is he thinking?

I gawk at her, soup in hand, and then Jo walks into the scene and steps up and leans on the door frame. "Hey," he says and looks at the soup.

You freaking man whore. "I made some soup for you," I say and hold out the soup.

"Soup?" he echoes, raising an eyebrow at it.

"I already made nachos," the young latino prostitute tells me. She tilts her head at my soup, and puts a finger to her lips in thought.

"You made soup?" he says again, but the latino girl is ignoring him and butts in so I just shrug.

"We can have soup and nachos! Both!" she says holding up a finger like she's had some bright idea. I stare at her, not glaring, but mentally glaring. She points at me, "you," she says a smile gracing her lips, "what is your name? Oh! Silly me," she holds out her hand and beams, "My name is Maria!"

Maria doesn't really sound like a prostitute name but I guess any cute latino can get some without a stage name. And get some major green, too. I see a diamond ring on that – that ring finger. Oh my God.

Maria is looking at me funny, and then I realise she's still holding out her hand. Also that I'm supposed to shake it. I take her prostitute hand in my own wondering if she is a victim to arranged marriage between herself and Jo.

"Hey," I say squeezing her hand really hard, only not really hard – her grip seems just as strong as mine, for such a small girl. "My name's Lula," she gasps and brings her hand to her lips, and kisses it. My eyes bug out, is she going to make me slip her a dollar for that??

She says a heap of stuff in Spanish while clutching my hand to Jo, and he, looking embarrassed, shakes his head and yells back in Spanish. She flicks him off with a wave of her hand and beams at me, she squeezes my hand, "It would be a pleasure if you'd stay for tea, please? Please?"

"But I –" I start, and then falter at her pleading expression. She looks like she really, really wants me to stay, and why? To intrude on their lovely night of tacos or nachos or burritos or...whatever the heck they're eating, and whatever they are planning on doing afterwards. I don't understand, but I sigh, shrug, and smile, "Sure."

She drags me and my pumpkin soup inside and Jo closes the door behind us, looking a little...panicked?

"Come sit here, right next to Jo," she says and pats the spot next to the head of the table. I blink at her and am about to protest when she insists some more, "Come, right here. Now." She says it in a friendly voice, but in a voice and a manner that will not take no for an answer.

I sit my pot of soup in the middle of the table and sit myself down next to Jo's seat, eyeing him warily as he sits down. But he's too busy eyeing Maria warily to notice.

Maria holds her hands out and I blink at them in wonder, what is she trying to do, call upon her higher powers?

It's something close.

"Take my hands, both of you, and each other's hands. We must thank God and ask him to bless our food, yes?" She eyes both of us in scrutiny and begrudgingly, hands join and tingles go up my spine.

Maria says a few words in Spanish, but I'm not even listening. All I can think about is Jo's warm hand around mine, and the fact that it's making me tingly like that other day, weeks ago. Maria finishes off and drops our hands, leaving mine and Jo's still attached.

We look at them, look at each other, and then drop them and cross our arms.

"Eat!" she says and rips the gladwrap off the top of the soup pot. "Oh! Bowls!" she rushes out of the room to the kitchen and I shift uncomfortably. Maria's kind of nice for a prostitute, and an engaged or married one, for that matter. I look at Jo's hands, but they bear no rings.

Maria's taking an awfully long time to get those bowls and Jo isn't even attempting at conversation. All of a sudden from the kitchen, comes a frustrated noise, and then Maria's calling out for him, "Jo, Jo you get in here right now, right now!"

Jo slides out of his chair and goes to the kitchen, and I hear arguing in Spanish for a bit before they both come out; Jo looking embarrassed and stubborn, Maria looking miffed and incredulous.

She nonetheless sets out the bowls and plates of nachos, having made another plate for me, and fills the bowls with soup. She holds up her hand, and then dips her spoon in my soup, brings it to her lips – and gasps.

"Oh God, she's poisoned it, hasn't she?" Jo says and gets a kick from Maria under the table.

"No, it's really, really good!" She says, beaming at me. She then looks at Jo, and really slyly, too. She whispers something in Spanish and raises her eyebrows suggestively at him and he goes red. I blink and start to feel a little sick; do they have to flirt in front of me?

We sit in silence for the most part, although Maria only shuts her mouth when she has food in it, and then Maria excuses herself to go the bathroom. Before closing the hallway door behind her though, she gives Jo a look, and then looks at me, and then closes the door behind her.

"So," he says after she leaves the room. "Who'd you steal this from?"

"What?" I say, shoving a nacho in my mouth and eyeing him as I chew.

"The soup, you can't have made it." he says, rolling his eyes at me, and then swallowing down a spoonful of soup in example. "It's too good to be made by you, so where'd you steal it from? The baker down the street? Someone's fridge?"

"I made it," I say, blinking at him, happy that he likes my soup but annoyed he thinks it's too good for something made by me. I mean, I've never shown him anything to prove him otherwise – that I can't cook.

"Yeah, right," he says and laughs into a hand, "that'll be the day!"

"I haven't stolen anything for three weeks and a bit, you nimrod," I scowl at him, crossing my arms over my chest and glaring.

He laughs even more at this, and then, rolling his eyes, says between laughter, "Oh," he says, "Oh, yeah, I'm sure. And so why has Ronnie down a couple of houses' favourite bracelet gone missing, the one with the diamonds?"

I haven't even seen that bracelet since highschool, how can he be accusing me of something like this? Oh. Yeah. Right – because I steal stuff, but that doesn't mean I steal everything. Especially when the object is of great sentimental worth to the person, and his brother doesn't count. He earned that.

"Yeah?" I say and he raises his eyebrows up in challenge. I shake my head in disgust, and mutter, "Well I honestly wouldn't know anything about that, you however – are you aware that there's a law over screwing minors?"

It's out before I can take the words right back and then we're into it, we're fighting.

Well. Almost. It comes soon.

"She's nineteen, just like you and me, perfectly legal even if that were my objective." He informs me to my own extreme surprise. She's nineteen?? She sure doesn't look nineteen.

"Whatever, did you catch a look at the rock on her middle finger – she's getting married, or is married." I tell him frowning at the soup.

"Oh, gee, really?" he asks me sarcastically. "Well I didn't notice that big fat ring, I mean, of course, I've been here longer – but of course I haven't noticed it."

"What are you marrying her?" I shout at him, angrily. "Her and her itty-bitty waist and tight clothes? Seriously!"

He laughs humourlessly, "Oh, well isn't it great she's my brother's wife instead," he says, "and that he's off trying to find their bags that got lost in transportation, and that now, she's wearing my little sister's clothes? Not, for the record, her own."

"Well isn't that convenient," I sputter.

Jo starts to look steamed and he's about to open his mouth and yell something at me when someone interrupts.

"No," Maria bursts out from where she had obviously been listening in at the door, "no, no," she frowns at me apologetically, her lips crinkling downwards and her pretty eyes filling with sadness, "it's true, Maxx is my love, not Jo – although he is adorable, no? He's cute, no?" she stares at me, her eyes wide, waiting for my answer.

She looks too innocent and apologetic and nice for me not to believe her.

I stare at the floor. "Oh." I take everything back I said about Maria. She's a nice, beautiful girl who is very deserving of her share of my soup and cooks a mean batch of nachos. "Sorry."

"Yeah," Jo says, his voice dripping with sarcasm, "why don't you go do something useful and nick some more soup."

He sticks his spoon back in the soup and starts eating again, and Maria hangs her head in her hands.

My eyes fill with angry tears.

Why don't you go do something useful and nick some more soup?

I can't believe it. How can he say that? How can he say that!?

Why don't you go do something useful and nick some more soup?

I didn't even nick the soup in the first place. I made it, and I made it well – so he has to assume I stole it, and is that the only thing he thinks I'm good at? Is that the only thing he thinks I do? Steal things?

Because even though I do steal – I did steal – that's not all I do, and that's not all I did. I watch TV; I read books from the library; I baby sit my cousins; and I bake. And I love to bake, almost as much as I love to steal, used to love to steal. Because I've stopped...I've stopped for something that now – I realise too late – I love more.

Tears spill down my cheeks.

And okay. Maybe loving someone more than something – such as my hobby, stealing – doesn't seem like such a big deal. But it is when it's all you've done, along with some other things, since you've been a small child (starting with plastic dinosaurs from kindergarten).

It is a way big deal just to stop something you've never gone more than a couple of days without.

It's a way big deal. And it's all for him!

"Excuse me," I shriek at him, tears streaming down my cheeks like Niagara Falls, "but I haven't stole nothing for nearly a month, and I made that soup. I made it from scratch. For you."

"Well," he says, and then uses my own words against me, "isn't that convenient."

My tears are now clouding my vision, and I swipe at them, it's all that I can do to keep from falling over as I get myself out and away from that stupid house of his. And on the way, I bump into his brother, Maxx. Who promptly swears at me in surprise as I rush past him, and then swears again when his brother comes bursting out of the house.

I start to run. And run. Until not very stealthily, I trip over someone's garden hose and he's leaning down over me. I choke back tears and kick at him, "Go away!"

"They finally got you back, didn't they?" he says, picking up the garden hose and untangling it from around me.

"Piss off," I say, and punch him in the guts. But it has little or no effect seeing as he barely spares a glance for my hands, and just takes them into his own and leans even closer to me. My heart starts beating really fast, and I pull at my hands. But he doesn't let go.

"I just want to let you know, you stole something of mine," he whispers.

"What the hell did I steal of yours now?" I demand, annoyed to no end, but my breath catches when he fully sprawls himself over me, pinning me down and taking my head in his hands.

"My heart," he whispers and then his lips are on mine and I stop struggling against him, like he's got me with defence spray and I'm out for the count – only I'm not, since I totally fling my arms around his neck and arch my body up against him and stick my tongue down his throat. In reverse order.

He sweeps me up into his arms and stands up, all the while kissing me passionately, and then he brings me up against a tree and presses me up against that.

"Ouch," I murmur before I can stop myself and he brings his lips away, alarmed.

"Did I hurt you?" he wants to know and I shake my head, seeing stars. Only not the kind of stars you see when you're hurt; the kind of stars you see when you're giddy with happiness, and at the same time, your hormones are charged.

"No," I assure him, and then ask, earnestly, "Do you want it back?"

"What?" he says, blinking. I suppose boys get even more caught up in kissing than girls, or something. I can't really blame or be mad at him for being disabled by my awesome kissing skills.

"Your heart," I tell him, "I don't really like giving things back, but..."

"You can keep it, don't ever give it back." He says and kisses me again, his hands in my hair, and then at my hips as they creep up my shirt. "I don't want it back, can I have yours?"

I want to tease him and say no but he's manipulating not so much my emotions, so much as my um, hormone ruled parts, as his hand has crept further still up my shirt.

"Yes..." I say and bite his lip. Kiss me you fool.

And he does, accordingly. We stand there so long kissing that the stars in my eyes and that flutter around my head, aren't the only ones around.


Moral to the story; people can steal anything. Even hearts, and not just literally.

The advice from the magazines comes from this site (I forget what, I dunno, look up 'men are dumb' that's one of the articles on it, you might find it then) and also (knowledge courtesy of Holly) .

Sorry this is so long. But it had to be – I couldn't write it any other way.

Ps. The stealing dinosaurs thing is true. I did attempt that in kindergarten.

PPS. Stealing hearts literally is not a good idea. It's called: manslaughter, children. Very bad for your reputation and could probably result in jail time.