Hello everybody! :)

This is my very first attempt at a Romance and/or Angst story. Both of those genres - especially romance - are in my list of least favorite genres, but an unhealthy dose of curiosity lead me to wonder if I could write in them. So after grasping for a plot, I decided to just base the story off of myself and a man in my Scottish dance group. Though the story is true, rest assured the real thing is somewhat less angsty. XD

She didn't know how it happened. She hadn't wanted it to happen, certainly; but hearts are funny things, and often quite treacherous. She wasn't even the romantic type - not in the slightest bit. Her whole life, she had denied any drop of romance that tried to enter her conscious, and for the most part, she was successful.

That she was now in love with a man, she could not deny.

She hadn't the faintest notion how it had happened, or why, or even when. She didn't fall for him all at once. Little by little, over the course of a year, it stole up on her. Every week she would see him, and every week, she discovered a new quality in him that plucked at her heart as if it were no more than a stringed instrument for the playing. His kindness; his humor; his old-fashioned courtesy; his habit of ragging her mercilessly, but always being the first to notice when she was down in the mouth, and the last to give up on trying to cheer her. In fact, he never gave up - as long as she was depressed, he would stay with her, his arm around her shoulders, and talk to her, 'til at last she cracked the smile that only he could bring to her face.

They fit together, the two of them, like the missing pieces in the puzzle of her Life. He cheered her up, she supported him, and they would squabble endlessly in between times. When she danced with him, it was the most natural feeling in the world to her: Her body mirroring his as they moved through the figures of the dance, their hands clasping each others hands and elbows as they whirled around, eyes locked together to keep dizziness at bay. Always, they were perfectly in step together, matching their rhythms as they skipped and flowed through the intricate formations. They would rise together, fall together, and meet flawlessly in time to the music - unless he got ahead of the beat, which she found thoroughly endearing.

Sometimes they would both get ahead of the music, and then they would stand and wait for the beat to catch up, staring at each other with barely concealed laughter as they silently acknowledged their mistake.

When they engaged in pleasant conversation, she would allow him to do most the talking, and she would sit in silence, letting the warm cadence of his voice wrap around her like a soft shawl as she listened attentively to whatever he was saying. Very seldom, if ever, did she talk to him about herself. Everything he knew about her was gleaned from her conversations with other people.

The truth was, she was afraid. Afraid he'd find out; afraid he'd come to know. The idea that she was ashamed of loving him was absurd - for how could she be ashamed of something over which she had no control? She hadn't asked him to steal her heart, and the fact that he had - completely unawares - was hardly her fault. But she feared what he would think. If he knew, would he be embarrassed? Would it spoil their friendship, based as it was on mutual teasing and impertinence? She didn't know; but one thing she knew - she never wanted to do something that would cause him to feel shame.

And so she hid her feelings, concealing them behind a mask of laughter and impudence and false arrogance. No longer could she look him in the eye, coolly and steadily, for while she was a fair actress, and could wear a disguise as easily as she wore clothes, she feared her eyes would betray her. She was afraid he would see in their blue depths what she struggled weekly to hide from him.

For one thing was certain: He would never be hers. They were pieces of a puzzle, adjoining each other - but he was painted with a different picture. They fit together, but they would never belong together.

And she knew it.