The hum of the air conditioner was the only sound in the room. Joshua narrowed his eyes, putting every last ounce of his concentration into the task at hand.
Stefani, glancing occationally at Joshua, stopped what she was doing.
"Gosh," Stefani put down her computer, "I'm helping you finish this project, why do you have to be so worried?"
Grinning, Joshua rolled over onto his stomach and continued to type. He was on the floor of his room. It had been only a short time since the two have started visiting each other's houses. It was both surprising to see how little she had changed his room. Some of her minor belongings were piled neatly on the floor, borrowed from Michelle or bought from the last shopping trip. All of her material possessions weren't there. But that was natural, after all. Why would she need to have so many things at his house?
He tilted the laptop up so that the slant would be a convenient degree to glance above. Cuter than most and still the same since the day he had met her, he observes.
Then he moved the computer down, scanning her neck and shoulders. They were slender, the skin unmarked and and seemingly smooth. The curves that showed through her thin blue shirt all looked slender too, as did her slim waist, her thighs, and her feet. Stefani fisted her hands on her lap, looking annoyed and shy at the same time. She was sitting on his bed with a computer, and staring at him accusingly.
"What?" He glanced at her slender arms, thin and delicate, all the way back up to her face. She looked away quickly, her caramel bangs obscuring her face.
Sensing her annoyed mood, Joshua sat upright, and set the laptop on the nearby desk. Through the window, a little bit of sunlight streamed through a crack in the curtains. He got up and closed it. It was a sunny afternoon, and today had been much warmer than usual.
Sometimes, keeping the room a comfortable temperature was complicated. From the few times Joshua and Stefani have been outside together, Joshua realizes that Stefani seems to dislike too much heat, so Joshua keeps the house at a cool temperature whenever she visits. Although, it's not like she would pass out from this heat, but he was worried Stefani would leave if the house wasn't comfortable. He did not want her to dislike his environment.
Joshua checked to see if the air conditioner was still working, and it was. Cool blasts of air flow into the room turn his room into a cold and comfortable environment. These were the small things Joshua could do to prolong Stefani's visits. Maybe he couldn't always find a cool shadow for her on their outdoor town visits, but he could make the hot summer world a little more accepting of her.
Stefani cast a longing glance at the window. She had wanted to go outside today, but they both knew that it was a stupid idea. Not only do they both have to finish their projects, but the day is also very hot. These are some complicated conditions.
To cheer her up, he mentioned: "I hear it's going to rain tomorrow."
Her face lit up with the cutest of grins. She seems to enjoy going outside after rainstorms, even though warm rain wasn't the best. Joshua was usually against it, but in the end he couldn't bring himself to restrict her movements. That would make him as bad as her parents, or worse. So in the end, he just let Stefani do whatever she wanted.
"Hey, you want to go outside after the sun sets?" Joshua asks as he begins to type again, catching Stefani out of the corner of his eye as she moved the curtain out of her way to look up at the sky. Sunlight streams across her face and made her look like an angel. He observed the way her eyes didn't dilate at all, like a normal human's would.
She saw him, smirked innocently, and reported: "Not a cloud in the sky, but an evening walk sounds good for summer." Then the curtain closed, and a shadow fell across her face as Stefani retreated back to the bed again.
"Okay! You could stay for dinner too. I doubt we'll be finished by dinner anyway," Joshua shrugs about the fact.
"Doesn't matter much," Stefani replied,"I don't have anything to do over the weekend so I've got plenty of time. Now how about you fix that typo?" she teased with a chuckle.
"Hey! I was talking to you. You're the cause!" he laughs.
"Well excuse me for causing a minus one on your project!" The two laugh and continue teasing with each other, messing up each others reports and poking each other in the ribs.
"This really isn't very fair! You're not sensitive enough for me to poke!" Joshua complains with a sly glint in his eyes.
"HA HA!" Stefani laughs proudly," No one has ever been able to tickle me or poke me to the point where I laugh!"
"Ha! Challenge accepted!" Joshua raises his hands slowly and glowers above Stefani. Without much of a warning, he pounces on top of her and slams her into the bed. Stefani yelps out of surprise and suddenly she feels fingers slowly and lightly sliding around on her body.
"What are you doing?" Stefani asked confusedly.
"I'm looking for that 'spot'," Joshua mumbles with concentration.
"Hu- oh, my ticklish places? I told you, I'm not ticklish," she laughs softly.
"No way! You have to be ticklish somehwere!"
Suddenly, Stefani feels a weird sensation on her thighs. She twitches slightly, trying to hold in her laughter and restrict her movements, but that was enough for Joshua, "Ah, I think i found it!", he exclaims proudly.
"Wait!" Stefani perks with surprise. 'Calm down, don't let him think that's the spot. don't laugh. Don't move. Oh no.' Joshua has started to "test" the knees now. He runs one hand's nails lightly over Stefani's skin while using the other hand to pin her hands down above her head. Stefani slowly starts to lose her concentration as small puffs of laughter escape her lips. Soon, her face fills with the color red as she attempts to contain her giggles.
Joshua, on the other hand, seems to enjoy Stefani's reactions. They seem kind of cute and innocent, as if, she's never really been touched or tickled seriously before. He lifts his face up to glance at Stefani, only to find a grinning and blushing child trying to contain her pure pride. This aroused him very much so. Joshua wonders if maybe even Stefani is sensitive around the neck. Normally, other people wouldn't touch there. 'What other option is there? I really want to find her spots.' He slowly and slightly hesitantly scoots upward slightly with his face level with Stefani's. "Oh no, what now?" she asks teasingly.
"Oh, nothing really. Just going to... Check out your neck!" Joshua hesitates for a split second before flipping Stefani over onto her stomach and slowly sliding his hands gently down from the nape of her neck and shoulder towards her collar bones, past the collarbones, to the low collar of her tank top.
"Eek!" Stefani jolts with shock. This feeling, it's familiar, it's just like those times when her friends would teasingly rape her. Stefani suddenly feels a warm touch on her stomach and she realizes she's been sat upright. She feels a soft but also rough sort of cushion under her.
"Huh? What are you doing Jos-," Joshua stops her. He lets her lean on his chest and he hugs her delicately.
"I found it," Joshua breathes into Stefani's ear's. His breath moving the air to brush against Stefani's neck and cheek. Stefani shudders slightly, confused about what Joshua is trying to do.
Joshua's heart beats with uncertainty, but Stefani's neck being exposed so clearly right in front of his face, can barely control his feelings. He leans his head in, lips brushing lightly against Stefani's neck, breathing ever so sloftly into her hair. He feels Stefani stiffen slightly under his caress and stops, "Did I find it?" he asks teasingly.
"Wh-what are you doing?" Stefani turns her head around slowly to face Joshua. She jerks her head back slightly, a bit surprised about how close Joshua's face was to her's. Stefani feels her face warm up and quickly covers up her cheeks in embaressment. Ducking her head, she gives Joshua an embarressed glance.
"You look adorable when you blush," Joshua comments with a warm grin spread across his face. He brushes some of Stefani's hair out of her face and gently lower her arms. "Nothing to be embarressed about. I was just trying to find the spot," Joshua reassures, "But there is another spot I haven't tried yet."
"Where else are you going to touch?" Stefani asks defiantly. "Haven't you touched me enough? You've touched some weird places already!" she responds with a slight pout.
"W-well, I guess it could wait..."Joshua glances to the side with a light and almost invisible blush.
"Joshua! Stefani! I've prepared dinner! Why not come down now?" Joshua and Stefani hear Mrs. Chen call from the kitchen. The two quickly separate and sit on opposite ends of the bed not looking at each other, both blushing with different shades of red.
"Uh, want to go eat dinner?" Joshua asks quietly.
"S-sure. Yeah let's go. Your mom might get annoyed if we stay here any longer."
"Hurry up and come to the dinning room!" the two hear the yell. They scramble off the bed and put fix up some messed up papers, and head out the bedroom. They walks quietly beside each other, not looking at each other.
As the two sit down at the dinner table and settle down, Mrs. Chen starts up a conversation with the two. Eventually, the mood lightens up and Stefani and Joshua slowly forget about the tickling incident.
About an hour later, the family and Stefani finish the dinner and clean the table. "Want to go for a walk now? I think it's cool enough. Besides, we got to burn off some of this fat." Joshua suggests with a poke to Stefani's stomach.
"Yeah, sounds good!" Stefani turns to Mrs. Chen,"You don't mind do you?"
"Of course not! But don't stay out so late that the mosiquitoes bite!" Mrs. Chen warns.
"We won't. We'll be back in about an hour or so!" Joshua calls back while pushing Stefani towards the door. The two put on their shoes and head out towards Lacy Park.
They walk silently, enjoying the scenery in the park. They walk along the long path that spans the perimeter of the park, the one that gets pretty dark at night. As the two enter the wooded area of the park, Joshua slides his hands into Stefani's, holding onto it gently, and keeping a silent and calm stare forward. Stefani blushes lightly and she holds Joshua's hand in response. They walk along the crunchy path littered with dirt, sand, and leaves. The moon shines brightly though the tree leaves and light a small path for the two. Luckily, it was a full moon tonight, the the woods would have been a bit creepy. They walk past the tennis courts and follow the turn into the far back of the park. The trees gradually grow denser and denser as they walk deeper and deeper. Soon, the moon only lit paths with bubbles of light here and there. Joshua slowly stop walking and stops in the middle of a moonlight puddle. Stefani looks at Joshua questioningly, wondering what was wrong,"Do you have a stomahc ache?"
"No," Joshua replies with a monotone voice. There is a short pause where silence fills the surrounding air, making the mood unnaturally tangible. "W-we never really made it official, huh?"
"Made what official?"
There is another pause before Joshua slowly turns to Stefani, looking down upon her moonlit face. He holds Stefani's hand a bit tighter, and steps a bit closer to her. He glances to the side, hesitating a bit about his actions.
Stefani, meanwhile, has billions of feelins and thoughts running through her mind. So much is running her through her mind, that she blushes at the though of each. She glances at the ground, not meeting Joshua's gem like eyes.
Joshua looks back at Stefani's rosey face and finalizes his thoughts. He lightly turns Stefani's head to face him, cupping her chin in his free hand. He stares into Stefani's caramel eyes before narrowing his slightly. Joshua tilts up Stefani's face and leans in, feeling Stefani's hand tighten around his. He sees Stefani slowly close her glinting eyes and Joshua's heart calms down slightly. Joshua closes his eyes as he feels his lips press lightly to Stefani's plush lips. He pulls Stafni into a light hug and he presses his lips gently on hers, feeling her body press against his.
Stefani, completely blanked out, kisses Joshua back lightly. She feels Joshua pull her into the kiss and entwines his fingers with her's. The night breeze blows smoothly through the woods as it dances around the two and conveniently blows Stefani's hair out of the way.
The two kiss passionately for what seems like an eternity before Joshua slowly lifts his lips away from Stefani's. The two blush deeply as they both stare at the ground, not moving much. Again, there is the tangible silence, but this time, it felt warm and comfortable. without much warning, Joshua breaks the silence with a soothing whisper into Stefani's ears,"Will you be mine?"
Stefani, wide eyed with shock, stares at Joshua. Not believing in her ears, "What?" she asks in disbelief.
"Will you be my girlfriend, Stefani?" Joshua asks again, this time more confidently and with a warm smile. He holds Stefani's hands in anticipation, waiting nervously for her reply.
after a short pause, "I will. I'll be your girlfriend, and you'll be my boyfriend," Stefani replies enthusiastically with a radiant smile.
Joshua, delighted with the news, picks up Stefani slightly off the ground and embraces her lovingly. The two laugh about the new developement and continue on with their moonlight stroll, this time, with occasional butterflies of love fluttering by. The evening bugs chirp with excitement as they see the new couple walk down the path with glistening eyes and bright smiles and echoing laughter.
The two evenually reach the end of the path and head out of the park. They walk hand in hand back to Joshua's house. They enter that house again and see Mrs. Chen on the phone.
"Oh Stefani, your mother called and said she wanted you back home ASAP." A little disappointed, Stefani agrees to go back home.
"Hey, I, uh, could drive you home. I just got my license recently." Joshua offers shyly.
"Oh, that's a good idea! But becareful!" Mrs. Chen comments.
Stefani's face lights up with joy as she and Joshua head towards the car. They both buckle in and Joshua slowly pulls out of the drive way. The drive to Stefani's house was a quiet drive. With the radio off, Joshua concentrates on the road while Stefani stares at the passing lights, both still thinking about the kiss. As Joshua pulls up next to Stefani's house, he gets out first and opens the passenger door, as if he were her butler escort,"Careful of the curb. I parked kind of far from it."
"Okay." Stefani nods and smiles as Joshua walks her up to her door. He gives her a warm bear hug with a light peck on her lips. He holds the hug for a few more seconds before letting go,"I'll see you tomorrow."
"Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow," Stefani replies with a satisfied smile. she opens the front door and walks into her house, glancing back at Joshua who has stepped off the steps. She waves a final goodbye before shutting the door.
Joshua, satisfied with the night, heads back to the car with a slight grin, and drives away safely.
Stefani had finished saying her good nights with her parents and had just finished taking a shower, when she sees the corner of something white sticking out of the pockets of the shorts she was wearing. She takes the slip and paper and poker card out, examining it thoroughly. The card is completely blank, but there's something written on the note: Kiss the card. Excitedly, Stefani kisses the card tightly and sees " to s k " and a curved corner. She kisses the blank card once more, twice more, thrice more, until it seems like she's kissed the card even on the edges. She holds the card out in front of her, smiling and blushing. The Ace of Hearts. With a small note at the bottom: Thank you for tonight's kisses. Stefani wonders to herself when Joshua had the time to make this, and how? Either way, she thought is was very sweet and incredibly unique. Stefani glances up at the clock and crawls into bed, holding the card and note delicately and slowly drifts away into a dream. No, not a dream anymore, just a flashback, of a dream come true.