Watching paint dry

I was in love with Duncan Irons and if anyone was more surprised about this fact than me, it was Duncan himself. Honestly, that was no surprise, since I basically tell him every day that I hate him.

We had a long history, him being my next door neighbor for all the eighteen years we'd lived. We were even born on the same day, which resulted in joint parties and me screaming bloody murder and crying because I hated him so much, driving my mum nuts. I can't even really tell where the hate came from, but somehow it had slowly turned into love over the past months.

The hatred I'd felt whenever he was having a new girlfriend, turned out to be jealousy directed toward his girlfriends, when carefully analyzed.

I was stunned when I found out that I was in love with him. One day when I had just been sitting innocently behind my desk, minding my own business and working on some lame school project, I had stared out the window and there was Duncan playing basketball outside his house. Boy, was he well toned. I had kept on staring until he glanced up to my window. I had snapped my head back so quickly, I got a cramp in my neck and cursed loudly, slowly coloring. Ever since that moment, he somehow always appeared in my fantasies.

And now, at this very moment, I was holding his arm and he was looking at me in surprise. I don't know what had gotten into me, but as soon as I'd seen him walking from his house to his car, I'd raced down the stairs nearly breaking my neck in the process. My mother had given me a weird look when I didn't even do as much as take a breath. I grabbed the doorknob and yanked the door open.

Outside, I tripped and almost fell face first on the street if Duncan hadn't been so quick and supported me with one arm.

"Wow, careful Stinson," he said and I tried to regain my balance by holding onto his arm. "Why are you rushing out like this? Didn't think you'd have time to give me your daily insult?" he asked and his blue eyes sparkled. Apparently, he found me amusing.

When I didn't speak, but instead just stared at the gorgeous brown haired, blue eyed boy, wondering why it had taken me so long to notice that he was utterly perfect, he cocked and eyebrow. "Uh, Sabrina? Are you ogling me?" He sounded a bit off and shot me the strangest look.

"Shut up," I whispered and pulled his head down. Right before my lips could touch his and me practically inhaling the same air he was, he stopped me.

"What the hell, Sabrina!" he nearly shouted out. "What were you planning on doing?" he asked. "You weren't going to kiss me, were you?"

I snapped back to reality. "Don't be such a wuss, it's not a big deal," I argued annoyed. Why the heck did he push me away? I wasn't repulsive was I? Oh god, could it be that after all these years I'd finally make him hate me?

"Obviously you're very confused," he said, shaking his head so violently, I feared that it might fall off. "Sabrina, look at me," he put his hands on my shoulders to keep me off bay. "You hate me, remember? I'm Duncan. Don't go and freak me out like that." He muttered something under his breath I couldn't catch.

"I'm fully aware of what I'm doing," I assured him. "I don't hate you. I got over that way back. I like you Duncan, I think I might actually be in l-," but he never let me finish that sentence. Instead, he clamped a big hand over my mouth.

"No," he snapped. "Don't you dare say it. You're crazy. You're obviously crazy. Have you been drinking this early?" I shook my head. "No, didn't think so. I would've smelled it. You must've planned this. My god, you go all the way in your hate rage against me. I can't believe this. I have to go."
And he did. He was fast. It took him maybe three seconds to get in his car and drive off, leaving me alone, standing near his porch on a sunny August day.

"I can't believe his," I mumbled, pulling out my phone to console my friend Katy. Thirty intense minutes later, I snapped my phone shut and walked back to my house.

"Well?" my mum said and I grunted. I thought I heard her muffle a laugh, but I didn't pay attention to it.

Instead I walked up to my bedroom again and fell down on my bed. Duncan would come back and when he did, I would have another chance.

I waited edgily. Finally, around 10 pm, I heard a familiar car approaching. Eager to get there before he would pull into the driveway; I sprinted down once more, heard my mum tell my dad he shouldn't bother asking and once again, yanked open our door. I reached Duncan's car before he stepped out of it.

He was singing along with the radio and when he noticed me, it was already too late for him to leave. I quickly slipped into the passenger seat and heard him groan in frustration.

Even though he badly wanted to leave, he stayed put.

"I don't want to go over this again," he sighed.

I pouted in response. "There is no going over it again, you escaped last time. So I waited for you," I grinned, answering his unspoken question. He made a high-pitched noise, before he let out a large sigh, letting his head fall on his hands on the steering wheel. His white shirt contrasted nicely with his tanned skin and his muscles made it look extra awesome.

"What are you trying to pull off?" he asked, sounding rather tired and a bit stifled.

I let my fingers glide over the smooth leather seats. This car must've cost a fortune.

"Nothing," I replied in all honesty. I switched my attention back to Duncan.

He turned his head to the right, still hanging on the steering wheel. "And I'm supposed to believe that why?" he inquired sounding suspicious.

"Because it's the truth," I smiled, letting my left hand wander to his head, tentatively stroking his thick brown hair. I lowered my hand to his forehead and cheek, which was rough from the beard hairs that were forcing their way out of his skin. He made a noise that sounded like a soft groan while his eyes fluttered shut. This time he didn't push me back at all. My thumb caressed the side of his perfect nose, up to his eyelids and down to his lips. His eyes flew back open and he lifted his head.

"What are you doing?" he asked huskily. He stared at me in a different way now.

I just stared at him. My left hand never leaving his face, I slowly moved my right hand to his left cheek, sifting in his car seat, so I could sit more comfortably, which was really hard in a car. Slowly, very slowly, I pulled him closer so he wouldn't immediately snap out of it again. He seemed mesmerized in a odd way. I nearly held my breath when he was only an inch away, prepared for his retreat at any time now. He didn't move away though.

"Please, let me kiss you," I murmured in a thick voice that didn't quite sound like my own.

I closed my eyes as soon as our lips made contact, making sure until the last millimeter that he wouldn't pull away after all.

I was faltering. I carefully explored his lips, absorbing the feeling. He started to move his lips over mine as well. I nibbled softly on his lower lip and he didn't seem to mind to open his mouth for me. Our kiss deepened and got more intense. I weaved my fingers through his hair and felt utterly annoyed by our uncomfortable positions. I wanted to be closer to him.

Finally Duncan pulled away. He gazed at me and was trying to find the right words I assumed, judging by the look he gave me. Now I was really holding my breath.

"What was that?" he finally asked in a low voice.

"Me kissing you," I replied, desperately wanting to do it again.

"But why?" he looked confused, like he couldn't quite comprehend what had happened. He looked cute, with his confused face and disheveled hair.

"You didn't want to hear why this afternoon," I said, capturing his look with my eyes.

"That's because I want the truth. What did you just do? Win a bet? Did they tell you to kiss me? No wait, let me rephrase that: seduce me?" he sounded angry now.

Now it was my turn to look confused. "Who are they? No Duncan, I didn't win a bet," I said bewildered by his questions.

"No?" he seemed angrier by each passing minute. "Well, I bet you did. Or wait." He roughly pulled me into another kiss, one I didn't enjoy one bit. I struggled for him to release me.

Finally I got him to pull away. I panted heavily, just like him. "What are you doing!" I demanded. "I didn't bet on anything. Please let me explain. It's nothing like that at all!" I shouted desperately.

"Oh give me a break," he snapped. He got out of the car, ran hand through his already messy hair and closed the door. He pressed his car key and I heard the doors shut from the inside. I pulled on the lock on my side and opened the door. Immediately, the car alarm went off. I cursed under my breath, since it was pretty late already and even though it was August, some people still went to bed early. "Duncan! Make it stop!" I yelled over the ear drumming noise. I pressed my hands against my ears and ran after him, looking pretty stupid. Once I'd caught up with him, he finally made the damn alarm stop.

"Now if you please let me explain," I pressed the matter, clasping my small hand around his upper arm. It only took him one yank to release me. He turned around and crossed his arms.

"I love you, I really fell in love with you," I said, blushing and feeling highly embarrassed. I didn't plan for it to come out like this after all these months. Especially not with him looking at me as if I'd committed a murder.

I shuffled uncomfortably and finally looked up at him. He started laughing and it hurt. I felt my heart tighten, my throat swelled up and it became painful to swallow. Because his laugh wasn't a cheerful one, it sounded cruel and he was just laughing at me. I blinked hard to keep my tears from running down my cheeks.

"That's a good one, I'll remember that one," he said coldly once he had stopped laughing and turned around. The last thing I saw of his was his back as he retreated into his house and closed the door.

I slowly walked over to my own house, just a few yards away. My shoulders started to shock and I sniffed a few times, before straightening myself and walking up to my room, saying a weak "Hey," to my parents. Once I'd reached my refuge, I pressed my head into my pillow and started sobbing. That's what I got for hating him for the past seventeen and a half years and only loving him for six lousy months in return. What had I expected? Duncan dropping to his knees, hugging my legs and crying tears of joy? I was really getting ahead of myself and this was seventeen and a half years of payback biting me in the ass. Payback is a bitch indeed. That night, I cried myself into sleep.

It took me ten days to recover from the blow. My only comfort was the lack of girls going over to his house for the past months being continued throughout those days.

I observed him from my room when he played basketball, mostly only in his shorts because of the August heat, but he never so much as glanced over to my house, let alone my window. It was utterly depressing. Maybe he really couldn't care less for me. I knew he liked my parents though, just like they liked him. That's why they kept joining our birthday parties back in elementary school. I sometimes saw my dad talking to him when Duncan was playing in front of their garage. My dad had played basketball in high school and he and Duncan's dad had been classmates.

I wished I'd realized earlier what a great guy he really was. Now it was just painful to watch him from behind my window, not being able to get to know him better, something I had avoided for the past years.

I had been pondering about why he'd thought I'd made any kind of bet and with whom. What was he thinking: that all our lives were like high school stories? How absurd.

During the past days, even my daily dose of South Park episodes couldn't do much for me. They made me smile, but nothing more. I used to double over at Cartman's ideas and squeal for Butter, but I just felt dispirited now.

After the tenth day, I told myself to pull it together and try again. Normally I wasn't one for giving up, and I wasn't planning on starting that now either.

So on that faithful, or at least I hoped it to be, Wednesday, I stepped outside and went over to Duncan's car. It was early, really early in the morning. I brought a bucket full of paint and a brush. The salesclerk had told me that it was removable, from a car that is. Because I, Sabrina Stinson, was about to encounter the wrath of Duncan Irons. Quietly, I went to work.

After I'd finished, I hurried back to my house, dumped the paint, a.k.a. the evidence, in our garage and waited from behind my window, literally watching paint dry.

When he finally came out, I saw him check his hood, jump back and… turn around. I was happy that I had glass in front of me, to protect me from his wrathful look, because I was sure it would've hurt me if it had hit me right away. I waved happily and saluted when he first pointed at me, then at the painted words on his hood spelling "I really do love you Dunc" (which was all that had fitted on there) and then at the space next to him. I grinned widely as, once again, I raced down the stairs, yanking the door open and nearly running into Duncan.

"Thought I would bail out, did you?" I grinned widely. He didn't look too happy; in fact as I listened closely, I could hear him grinding his teeth.

"Of all things," he seethed, as he pulled me with him. His hand was like an iron claw around my upper arm.

Next to his car stood a bucket with soap and water and a sponge inside.

"I was about to clean my car when I saw this," he said pointing to the hood of his blue car, making me worry he'd snip a tooth in the process. "So now you're going to wash it until it is as sparkly as it's supposed to be." There was a false calmness in his voice that slightly frightened me.

"I can explain it though," I protested as he shoved the sponge in my unwilling hands.

"Oh, and you will. But after my car is sparkling again," he replied, finally letting go of my arm now.

I pouted and went to work, pulling my vest off.

Two and a half very long and sweaty hours later I cursed myself, panting heavily and wiping my forehead. The job had left me in a soaking tank top. In my right hand I was still holding a garden hose. Stupid clerk. He was right. You could indeed wash off the paint, but he forgot to mention that it took a freaking lifetime.

I stared hard at Duncan, who'd been lying in the grass for the past hour or so. I thought about leaving stealthily, but when I wanted to put my things down I thought of something way better. I grinned evilly as I aimed for Duncan with the garden hose and let the water run.

He yelped and jumped to his feet, soaking wet and dripping with water. I was also dripping water but from my eyes, tears of laughter were running down my cheeks. It had been a long time since I laughed this hard. It didn't take Duncan long to recover though and soon he leaped for my garden hose. I was too weak from laughing so hard, but he soon made me scream by taking revenge.

I sucked in the air that had left me as soon as the cold water had hit my skin. I held up my arms in surrender.

"Stop," I gasped, now looking pretty much like Duncan myself. He shut of the water supply and we both sat down in the sun, letting its rays dry us, just like it did with the now clean and sparkling car.

"I'm really sorry," I said after a long silence.

"It's okay. We'll be dry soon enough. And the car, ah well: it's clean and I didn't have to do anything," he grinned evilly, his fingers playing with the wet grass.

"I was talking about last time actually. I didn't mean to anger you," I said softly. "There was really no bet involved. It was my own impulsiveness. I've been in love with you for the past six months. I'm sorry for being so stupid for all these years as well."

When he didn't say anything for a long time, I glanced at him. He was staring at me. I caught his gaze and eventually he said: "You were serious?"

I just nodded, feeling a bit shy under his intense stare. He leaned towards me and narrowed his eyes a bit. I didn't move.

"Wow, you really are serious," he said stunned and leaned back, "I am so sorry."

My heart skipped a beat. Was he turning me down again?

"I'm sorry for being such a jerk last time. I truly believed you were playing with me."

I swallowed. "I would never," I whispered.

"I know. I'm so sorry." Duncan pulled my soaked body against his. I enjoyed the gesture and hoped I could stay that way for a little while longer, nuzzling myself into his chest.

"Actually," he said, sounding tentative, making me look up to him and gaze at his gorgeous face. "I've liked you for a while as well. I thought you were playing with my feelings, having heard it from the guys," he said with a hand gesture, referring to his friends. "I thought you still hated me though." He gave me a serious but heart melting look, making me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. My heartbeat sped up, anxious for his next words.

"Can you forgive me? I promise I'll make it up to you," he said with pleading eyes.

"Only if I can be your girlfriend from now on," I replied with a smile. He stared at me for a second and started laughing, in a good way this time.

"Oh god, you're so corny," he grinned and pulled me even closer, his eyes twinkling in amusement.

"I know," I grinned back.

Then he leaned in and whispered: "How do you feel about joint birthday parties?"

"Better and better," I laughed and he finally kissed me.

You can follow me on twitter now! /jadeqdean

I love to combine romance with humor! And happy endings of course.

This is the second one-shot. I will be working on some new ones soon.

Please leave a review with your opinion. I'd like to know what you guys liked and what I should improve according to you.