Author's Note: Hi all! This was just something I did to cure writers block..I promise I'm getting back to Love and Theft. Seriously. O.O Review, loves! And merry Christmas in advance. :)
I glowered to myself in the semi-darkness.
Great. This is perfect. Bloody awesome. Life, yeah. You rock. God, yeah. What did I ever do? I donate to charity. Whenever I could. I rarely scold my brothers. Um, well, I try to. And I...
OK, forget it. Everything I'm going to say-think is just a huge contradiction. I glanced to my right, trying to make it a subtle movement. He was facing his right, what I could see of his sharp jawline was set in a line. How did I end up cold, hungry and accompanied by an angry man again?
Oh, right. This morning.
Four hours ago
"Catch you after break, Andy! Or, you know. Call me." Trent Goldman winked at me suggestively.
I barely looked at my best friend. "Walk away, Goldman."
He didn't walk away. "She totally digs me," he said to his friend, and I heard the laughter in his voice.
I rolled my eyes. "Seriously. Walk away before I destroy your entire life."
"And she's feisty," he told his friend, grinning.
Right, well, I warned him.
"Ow!" he whined, scrunching his eyes up. He rubbed his jaw, where I just landed my fist in a nice punch. "That's gonna leave a bruise, Andy!"
"Don't you 'Andy' me!" I yelled, rounding on him. I didn't care that we were in the parking lot. I didn't care that everyone was watching us. I didn't care that Christmas break for 3 weeks in our college just started. I didn't care that tomorrow was Christmas eve. I didn't care that he was informing me last minute that he won't be able to drive me home, which is about a 7-hour drive away, because he has to spend fucking time with his fucking damn girlfriend before she fucking leaves to celebrate Christmas in New Zealand. I don't care. "You're dumping me for your girlfriend when you bloody promised you'd drive me home one week ago!"
Pfft, fine. So I care.
I was this close to sending him to kiss the ground and then punch him to a pulp. "And you have the nerve to tell me this tiny bit of information fifteen minutes after college break begins! I'm stuck! Miranda-" my roommate also known as my long-time best friend, "-went back yesterday! If you'd told me earlier I would have followed her back! Why didn't you tell me?"
Trent looked positively scared. "You would have skinned me alive if I told you I'm ditching you earlier!" And then he looked stunned, taking a step backwards, because I was advancing.
"You," I growled, "call that a reason? Oh, I'll show you the meaning of pain," I promised him, advancing more. His friends backed away, entertained grins on their face. "You think this is funny?" I snapped, rounding on them.
The most muscular of them -I think his name is Kenneth- flinched. "No mam," he spluttered, "I mean, I-"
"What's going on here?"
I closed my eyes when I heard his voice. I really don't need this. Not now.
"Andy, my girl! What up, what up."
I forced myself not to scream frustratedly. "Piss off, Parker."
I knew, even though I couldn't see, that he was smirking. "You know you hurt me real deep when you do that, Andy."
"Good," I snapped, opening my eyes. "That was what I was aiming for." My eyes met dark brown ones, and I briefly detected frustration, before it was replaced with a glimmer of amusement.
Frustration? Caleb Parker doesn't do frustration. Caleb Parker, is a six-foot, dreamy brown eyed complete asshole of a man. Who happens to have a body you just can't help but stare at. Caleb Parker, is arrogant. He is aggravating, annoying, and frequently makes me want to beat the crap out of him. And I'm not even a violent person.
Well, you know. Rarely.
"What's wrong with her?" Caleb asked Trent. "Than the usual, I mean."
I stomped my foot childishly and turned away from them, angry tears brimming in my eyes. Stupid males. Ugh, I hate them. I'm never going to forgive Trent for this, not in a million years. I heard Trent describe my current situation in a sheepish sort of voice to Caleb. I ignored them both and brushed my eyes angrily. Stupid..assholes... I had no means of transport and frankly, no money to even buy a bloody train ticket home. Looks like I'm spending this Christmas alone.
I started to walk away from them, arms crossed to protect myself from the cold wind. Yes, to make my already miserable day even more miserable, the snow was laying on nice and thick. Thud, thud, thud. I purposely stomped my feet on the pavement to vent my anger. I really hope Miranda didn't polish off our stock of instant noodles.
A black car was slowly edging by my side, and the driver's window was open. Caleb looked up at me, an unusually pensive look on his handsome face.
I know what I said. Despite being an arrogant ass and all that, the man's gorgeous, OK?
"I don't have time for chitchat," I told him rather briskly, picking up my pace. "I need to get home before I freeze and die."
He followed me steadily in his car. "Get in, Andy. I'll send you."
Surprised by his unusual act of kindness, I blinked. "Uh, thanks, but I live only about-"
"-four blocks down the road, I know," he interrupted. "I'm not talking about that. I'll send you back home."
I frowned, and then it suddenly caught on. "What?" He's not serious.
He rolled his eyes. "I'm serious, Andy. I've got nothing to do, so I'll send you home. Seven hour drive home and all that."
I gaped for a moment, and then abruptly scowled. "If this is one of your stupid jokes-"
"-I'm not joking, Andy. Seriously. Get in."
I weighed my options, and then drew the conclusion. Reaching out, I placed my hand on his forehead. "Yes," I affirmed, nodding. "You are rather warm. Go home and take a paracetamol, Caleb."
He sighed. Before I could do more than scream bloody murder, Caleb got out, threw me over his shoulder and put me inside his car. He then wordlessly sat back in his seat and continued the engine.
"D'you wanna get anything from your room?" he asked politely.
I gaped for a few more seconds. "Let me out. Or drop me at my room. Whatever. I'm not going with you."
"Alright then, we'll skip the stop at your room," Caleb answered, grinning to himself.
"Caleb, I'm going to scream."
He started to sing under his breath.
"Caleb, I'm dead serious. Let. Me. Out."
"...gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash-"
"Andy, my girl. I have never listened to you and you know you rather spend 7-hours with me than spend Christmas alone. Just give up."
I swatted his head. "Don't call me that."
"What, my girl?"
I swatted his head again. "Yeah, that."
"Andy, my girl. I repeat. I have never listened to you."
I glowered to myself.
Our journey was not a silent one. We bantered non-stop, and once when Caleb's window was down we effectively scared the crap out of an old man who happened to be walking across the street when Caleb yelled "dammit, woman, stop doing that!"
And all I 'did' was just pout when I looked at my watch and found out that we were driving for only 4 hours. Apparently I have a heartbreaking puppy-dog expression that can melt solid gold. Hohoho.
All in all, it wouldn't have been a bad trip if it wasn't for the end..which was now. In fact, I was thinking of inviting him to have hot chocolate and then kick him out of my house before my mother could assume he's my boyfriend and, er, impossible things like that.
I should probably mention the tiny incident that brought us to the side of the road. We were literally speeding since no one uses this road anymore. It was actually a shortcut that would lead us faster to my home, and since we didn't want to waste time, I made him go along with it. It was sorta deserted, but I thought we could make it through.
Of course, my plan had to backfire. It's actually a really silly thing. A freaking hedgehog crossed the road and we swerved to avoid it, immediately crashing into a bush. The good news was the hedgehog wasn't hurt, and we were fine, too. The bad news was the car broke down.
So I could have been a little supportive of the situation. Maybe I shouldn't have got angry and rounded on him. Maybe I should have realized that it was his fault there was no signal reception for our cellphones. Maybe I should have silently assessed the situation and take into account the fact that it was Caleb's car that broke down. Maybe we shouldn't have argued.
...Oh god, I can't take it anymore. I'm going to apologize.
Except that it wasn't that hard. He was Caleb, and I was Andrea. We're supposed to hate each other ever since first day of college and he tripped me on purpose. Childish, I know, but that was Caleb Parker for you. He somehow manages to annoy me, do really childish things and still ace his tests. It's unfair, really. But if you look past all the things he does, he's actually not that bad. And I'm not just saying this because he offered me a ride home when my best friend dumped me.
I rubbed my face wearily, and decided to just wing it.
"Forget it, Andy."
"No. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have argued with you. It's my fault, I shouldn't have made the situation worse than it already is." I bit my lip anxiously, waiting for some response. He remained silent. "Please, Caleb just look at me. Scold me, insult me, hit me with your usual innuendo, anything. Just don't ignore me."
He was silent for a moment, and then he exhaled sharply. "I'm not ignoring you."
"But you still won't look at me."
There was a pause during which he turned to look at me, a slight grin on his face.
"...What are you grinning at?"
"You care about us."
I looked away. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"You care that I was mad at you, you didn't like it when we weren't talking."
"I..." I flushed furiously, flustered. "Wait, so you were mad at me."
He shrugged. "Nah, I was more mad at myself."
"Why?" I felt it was safe to look back at him.
"Well..." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I got you in this situation, didn't I? I should've been more careful. If you'd gotten hurt.. I don't know. I would've gone crazy."
I watched him as he spoke. Something within me stirred, and I realized it was immense gratitude. No one has ever spoken to me like that.
"It's not your fault," I answered, seconds too late. He frowned curiously. "I did force you into taking this way." I drew my knees up to my chest and hugged them as I spoke. It was getting really cold.
"Are you cold?" Caleb asked, head tilted to the side.
I rolled my eyes. "No, Caleb, I'm toasty warm." We laughed, and I hugged myself tighter and looked at him. "This isn't going to be one of those cliches where we have to hug to keep warm, right?"
He laughed again. "It doesn't have to be. You know, unless you want to freeze to death and then get leukemia." I frowned at him. "And then I'll have to carry you and walk all the way until I find signs of life so I can find someone to call an ambulance. And then-"
"OK," I interrupted him, rolling my eyes. "I get it. But we're not going to fit here."
"I realize that, my girl," he rolled his eyes. He climbed into the backseat and patted his lap, grinning.
I sighed but moved to the back nevertheless. I climbed onto his lap and immediately relished the warmth he was exuding.
"Don't call me that," I muttered, pulling my long hair out of it's ponytail. I shook it out, making sure it covered my neck area.
...What? I gotta do what I gotta do to stay warm, aight.
"It's your nickname, be proud," he murmured. He hesitantly wrapped an arm around my waist. The warmth was very addictive; I slipped both hands around his neck and he pulled me closer. We couldn't have been any more closer than this.
"Shut up and hug me," I answered.
"Knew you'd warm up to me. Pun intended."
BANG BANG BANG.
"Oi! Wake up in there!"
I woke with a start. Where was I again?
"Oi! Kids! Wake up! What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Oh. Right. In the backseat, with Caleb. Who happened to be sleeping. I frowned at the window, where a middle-aged policeman was standing, rapping hard on the glass. I looked at him curiously, almost fascinated as he turned steadily red by the second, no doubt frustrated as to why we weren't responding to him. Why would he be frustrated, anyway? I mean, it's not like-
Oh fuck, I just realized what exactly he saw.
Caleb and I were both on the seat. We were still hugging each other, which meant we were now face to face. Our arms were still around each other, and I doubt that two people have ever been this physically close. Trust me, we had reason for it. The cold was biting; it felt like my bones were going to freeze any second soon.
My eyes traced Caleb's features, and I felt my heart warm at the slight smile on his face. He wasn't that bad; actually, he wasn't bad at all. Last night was a memorable one, and I still remembered some of the things he told me. Including the one secret he withheld. Turns out Caleb's never spent Christmas with anyone. His mother died when he was born, and his father married another woman. He left Caleb to his aunt, and sent him money on a weekly basis- that was how Caleb's loaded. Aside from that, Caleb hasn't seen his dad in years.
It was around that time, when he was telling me that, that I realized that Caleb was an amazing guy. To go through all that emotional pain and still be able to be kicking it here.. I don't know. Being love-deprived isn't something easy.
A while later I realized that the policeman was still yelling at us. I gave a start, and Caleb suddenly woke up. We locked eyes for a moment, before abruptly sitting up and letting go of each other. He looked at the policeman outside and seemed to comprehend everything.
Caleb opened the door awkwardly.
The policeman huffed at us.
"This isn't what it looks like," I began.
I cleared my throat. "Um, yeah."
It's around 8 p.m. now, and we're basically standing in front of my house. After we explained to the policeman exactly what happened, he pretty much relaxed (the red tension from his face disappeared slowly) and even called a tow truck for us. Then it was the three hours ride to my hometown, where we sat in the car as it was being towed and pretty much acted like children high on sugar. We reached town around 9 a.m. and I followed Caleb to get his car fixed, because I felt guilty about leaving him right now. It took a few more hours, and we ended up at McDonald's because we were both hungry.
I'll tell you a secret. I only stalled at McDonald's and followed him to the workshop because.. well, I didn't want him to leave so soon. I knew as soon as his car was fixed he'd leave, and I wouldn't see him until Christmas break is over.
"I should go.." Caleb said, looking at me. I merely bit my lip nervously. How was I to let him go..? He sighed. "OK. Bye Andy." He turned around, and before I knew what I was doing, my hand shot out and I was holding his shoulder.
"Wait!" I blurted out, and then immediately bit my lip. He turned around. "Um..Uh, don't go. Yet. I..." I was mentally kicking myself. "..Maybe you could..you could..I don't know. Do you.. possibly..might want to stay and spend Christmas with me? I mean, uh, my family." I cleared my throat.
Way to go Andy! Suave. -snort-
I realized I was still holding his shoulder and immediately dropped it to my side.
Before it could reach my side, however, Caleb caught it by the wrist and locked eyes with me.
"I'd like that. Christmas with you, I mean."
We smiled at each other.