Ahh, Canadian Love

I managed to catch a glimpse of her everyday since I'd read her poetry in class. I couldn't tear my eyes away from her when she was around. It didn't matter how many times I saw her during the day 'cause the sight of her still made my heart pound and my knees weak and all kinds of other dumbass crap. How could I ever have thought she was plain? The more I saw of her, the more beautiful she became to me. She made all the other girls around her look like stupid goats.

She had freckles on the tip of her nose and scattered across cheeks that were red from the cold. I wanted to kiss them. I wanted to kiss her.

"Nathan?" She squirmed in my grip, her brown eyes huge. "Um, what..."

I let go of her reluctantly, feeling both elated and like a first class shitheel. She knew my name! And also...Christ, way to maul her like some kind of a green pervert! "Sorry, I just..." Agitatedly, I raked a hand through my hair, swearing foully under my breath. She made me feel like I was thirteen again, all awkward and nervous and tongue-tied. I was a university man now; I thought I'd left all that puberty bullshit behind me!

I fumbled for something intelligent to say and took note of the rest of her. I'd been too busy ogling her flushed face to see that she didn't have on a coat or even a sweater, just a thin brown top and a sexy sort of tight, black skirt. Her legs were bare and she was wearing red cork sandals. "Christ Alice, where's your coat at?"

Now it was her turn to gape. She looked really hot while doing it. "What?"

"Your coat, it's fucking freezing out!" God, I wanted her haul her into my arms and warm her up. I had to bite my tongue as that image took hold; the last thing I needed was to pop a boner at the thought of her boobs pressed up against my chest!

"I didn't bring a coat today," Alice said slowly, staring at me like I'd grown another head. "I didn't realise it was going to be so cold out."

I couldn't help myself. Looking back, it wasn't the greatest of ideas to move so quickly but hell, I was eager. Touching her wrist once wasn't enough; she just did something to me and I had no idea how to slow myself down.

I stepped close, like right into her personal space. She tried to move away but I grabbed her by the upper arms and pulled her to me. I could feel how cold her skin was through her shirt. She gasped this sexy little sound as she hastily tilted her upper body away from me. I didn't care because I needed her in my arms; she didn't belong anywhere else.

"Sweetheart, you're frozen," I whispered, rubbing her arms. The sheer panic on her face was what cut through my possessive fog. I hastily let her go, stripped off my black hoodie and jammed it over her head. "I don't like seeing you like this. Lemme drive you home."

She struggled to get her arms out, her hair going all static-y. My sweatshirt practically reached her knees and I liked seeing her in it.

"My bus will be here soon," she mumbled, confusion written all over her face. She started twisting her hands up in the too long-sleeves as she glanced at the bus stop across the street. "You don't have to drive me."

"I know I don't," I interrupted, jamming my hands into my cargo pants. "I want to."

She opened her mouth and then closed it. She cleared her throat and shuffled her feet. Her sandaled feet for Christ sakes, complete with red toes and all.

That was the last straw.

"You're in summer sandals and it's practically -5!" I caught her elbow and steered her back towards the school. "My mom would have a conniption fit if she knew I let a beautiful girl walk home without a coat on a day like today."

"But I'm not walking, I'm taking the bus," she protested, nearly jogging to keep up with me. Her eyes briefly met mine. "And I'm not beautiful, I'm just normal."

I slowed down. "Yeah you are Alice," I murmured. God, she really was, with her freckly pink cheeks and her dark hair all messy. I wanted to push her up against the Fine Arts building and heat her up. I wanted to make-out with her for a few hours. I wanted to make her forget about everything but me. I wanted to be the only thing in her existence.

She seemed to be speechless so I took the opportunity to steer her out of the cold and into the Fine Arts building. The parking lot was on the other side of the building and I didn't want her to freeze anymore than she already was.

"Hey bro, heads up!"

A football came whizzing at my head. I caught it on instinct and biffed it back at its owner, James Richards, a dude I'd known since junior high.

"Shitty throw man," he drawled, before noticing Alice. On went the charm, seeing as how he was a self-proclaimed player with a thing for dark haired ladies. "Who's this beauty?"

I grit my teeth. James' flirty ways usually cracked me up but I was not about to let him pull his shit on my girl. I stepped closer to Alice and gave him a dirty look. I wasn't going to introduce him to her and he knew it, judging by the smug smirk he gave me.

"James Richards," he drawled out, holding out his hand to her.

"Alice Mackenzie." She placed her hand in his and it took a lot out of me not to yank her away and pound James' fat head in with his own football.

"A pleasure Alice," he drawled out, bringing her hand up so he could kiss it. He smirked at me some more.

"Quit molesting her, you pervert," I snapped, realising one second too late that I myself fell under the 'molesting pervert' bill.

Alice blinked at James and then at me. She seemed bewildered, which was basically how she'd spent most of our meeting together. I was going to have to talk to her after this; I couldn't just touch her and act like a big possessive dick without letting her know how much I cared for her. I wanted to take things slow with her, get her to like me but as usual, I hadn't been able to curb my prehistoric impulses. Dammit, she just did that to me!

"Possessive, aren't we?" James cocked his stupid eyebrow at me, all challenging and crap. "She your girlfriend or something Nate?"

"We have to go," I announced stiffly. I scowled at him, placed a hand against the small of Alice's back and led her up the hallway.

"See you around Alice," James called after us, sounding heartily amused and a million times more suave then I ever could, the bastard. "You too, dickhead."

I gave him the finger without turning around as Alice mumbled a good-bye. We rounded a corner and I abruptly stopped. I figured now was as good a time as any to let her know how I much I wanted to get to know her better. "You okay?" I asked, desperately wanting to brush her hair out of her eyes. "Uh, I didn't mean to drag you around. It's just really cold out there."

"I'm okay." She was attempting to smooth down her hair, her eyes avoiding my face. In all of my many fantasies, this wasn't quite what I'd had in mind. "I really don't need a drive Nathan. I don't want to waste your time. I mean you hardly even know me."

"I know that you write the most beautiful poetry I've ever read." I locked my gaze with hers and had to force myself to stay where I was. "I know that after I read your writing in class I had to find you. I know that you're as beautiful as your poems. I know that I got a massive crush on you."

She stared at me for a few endless moments before blushing.

"Aww shit!" I hadn't meant to blurt out that last part but like the dumbass that I was, I couldn't help myself. I knew I was blushing too. "I mean, uh…shit! Me and my fatso mouth!"

Inexplicably, she giggled. She muffled the sound into the palm of her hand and God, like I needed another thing to find totally adorable. "Thank you," she murmured, twisting the too-long sleeves of my hoodie around her fingers. "No one's ever...you know." Her cheeks were still red.

"It's all true." I risked taking a step towards her and was thrilled when she didn't step away. "I've never read anything like your writing. You're so talented. I've been wanting to talk to you for months now."

She met my gaze. "Why didn't you? Sooner I mean?"

I rubbed the back of my head sheepishly. "Guess I was kinda nervous. "

Alice sighed. "That makes two of us."

The idea that some monkey loser like me could make a girl like her nervous was beyond hilarious. I was charmed like anything. "Have dinner with me tonight."

She bit her lip and suddenly I was terrified that she would say no. Dammit, I was such a nugget! What the hell was the point of waiting all these months for the right moment to approach her if I was just going to blow it? This was going nothing like I'd planned! I was supposed to talk to her and get to know her and let her get to know me and then ask her out, not just yank her around and demand that she have dinner with me like some grunting Cro-Magnon!

I started blabbing like the insensitive baboon that I was. "I mean, have dinner with me, as in I'm asking you, not telling you. I would never do that. I was just wondering, you know, you don't have to or anything but I just thought...if you're busy I totally understand, it's kinda last minute anyway and yeah you're probably-"

"I'd love to."

Those three words effectively put the kibosh on my ramblings. I knew my mouth was hanging open like I was trying to catch fucking flies or some shit but I couldn't seem to close it. She'd love to!

She smiled, shyly. "I notice you in class too. You're always share your opinion on what we've read and you always say what you think. I admire that. I wish I could be more like that but I'm terrified of speaking in front of everyone."

"You're perfect like how you are." I gave in to the urge and brushed some of her long, brown bangs out of her eyes. Her eyes were beautiful. "I mostly just talk shit anyway."

"I don't think you do. You're very knowledgeable." Alice didn't look away from me and we just stared at each other, in the near empty hallway of the Fine Arts building.

"You'll have dinner with me tonight? For real?"

"Well it isn't everyday a good-looking guy asks me out." Her eyes were suddenly dancing and it left me breathless. "Or you know, chews me out for not wearing a coat."

She thought I was good-looking! The minute I had some privacy I was going to dance my happy dance...for like an hour. And gloat in my roommate's face for another hour since he'd constantly maintained that Alice was light-years out of my league. Take that Dwayne Fong, Alice thought I was good-looking and knowledgeable and she admired my big mouth and wanted to have dinner with me! Shit yeah!

"It's freezing out there," I said nonchalantly, so as not to alert her to my inner happy thoughts. I didn't want to act like anymore of a dummy loser then I already had. It was all going to be suave-town from here! "And that skirt you're wearing is real little. Don't get me wrong, I love that skirt, it's the hottest thing I ever saw, especially with those shoes and I wish you could wear it everyday or least one like it everyday 'cause you wouldn't wanna wear the same skirt everyday but in this weather, wearing that something like that, you're bound to catch a chill."

Her lips twitched. "A chill?"

I could feel my ears redden as I heard myself. So much for suave-town. More like doofus-junction. "Oh never mind."

She touched my bare arm with cool fingers and that snapped the sulk right out of me. "I grew up in Alberta. I guess I'm used to the cold. -10 was sunbathing weather for us."

"I wouldn't mind watching you sunbathe," I declared stupidly. It was her own fault that I was being such a knob; what normal guy could think when she was throwing around images of her sunbathing? "Though probably I wouldn't mind it if it was a tad warmer then -10."

She giggled, covering her mouth again as she did so. "Maybe we should start with dinner."

"Sweetheart, I'll start with anything you want," I breathed and took the great risk of holding out my hand to her.

She took it.

And when I kissed her, waiting and dating be dammed, she kissed me back.

I wasn't alone but I did my happy dance anyway.

Author's Note

Happy 2009 guys, I guess I'm not dead afterall! Or well not dead to writing anyway. Probably if I were really dead, I wouldn't be updating. Anyway, this little one-shot has been sitting on Bimla's Chutney – my trusty laptop (or as my Hindu mum likes to call it, top-lap) – for quite some time now. I thought I'd polish it up and sent it out; kind of as a prelude to the real writing I'd like to do this year. It's on my list of New Year's Resolutions to complete 'Hiring A Hooligan' and come procrastination or laziness, I'll be finishing that mathematical heap once and for all! Really I only have one more chapter and an epilogue to get through...I'm determined to complete it!

Also, I'd really like to thank you guys for still reading and reviewing my work; you have the patience of many pagan Gods and more! And especially I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me in the SKOW awards…'Hiring a Hooligan' managed to make it into the Hall of Fame, which was rather baffling to me but as I'm constantly in a state of bafflement, it's not that baffling. Er, so thank you!