That was . . . kind of the only word in his mind, the only thought he could muster up with the few pieces of brain he had managed to gather together.

(The rest of them had dissolved after one glance at her)

She looked . . . beautiful. Breathtaking, in fact. Why had he hesitated at saying yes to her again?

Aside from her sweatshirt, he'd never seen her in yellow before, as far as he could think. And he didn't know whether it was the color or the cut of the dress, but –

But wow.

The dress fluttered around her, pale yellow – she looked like a buttercup, like one of the flowers that first blooms in spring; delicate, but at the same time full of hope and endurance.

Even in her heels she was tiny, which he secretly liked – it showed that she had a weakness, some sort of vulnerability. Maybe that was why he hadn't said yes to her right away – because he'd hesitated, because she always seemed so strong, so self-sufficient, like she didn't need anyone but herself, like she didn't need him, wouldn't need him, wouldn't be affected by his answer, whatever it might be –

For some reason, seeing her like this made something snap into place for him.

Her eyes were pretty – ice-blue, but somehow managing to blaze at the same time. Blazing with fire, with energy, with excitement, with . . . anticipation?

He hoped so.

He cleared his throat. "Um . . . hi."

(His voice came out much raspier than he would have liked, and he cursed himself inwardly and cleared his throat again)

"Hi." She looked down briefly, unsure of herself for once, maybe?

"So . . ." He paused, tried not to stare. "Shall we go, then?"

"We're meeting Serena and Jordan at the restaurant, right?" she checked.

"Y-yeah." For a moment he had forgotten about the other two who would be joining him, and he was filled with a wave of disappointment. He wished that he hadn't acted so indifferent when she'd asked him, wished he'd told her no, let's not go with them, let's have it be just the two of us, because how was he supposed to tell her now, when they'd have an audience? "Yeah," he continued, "we'll meet them there."

And as he turned to walk out the door, he took a risk and slid his arm around her shoulders.

Because even if they wouldn't be alone at the restaurant . . .

They'd have the dance.