Once we were alone on our way to school, she glanced down at our joined hands and then back up at me. Her wide smile and bright eyes told me she was feeling the same warm feelings I was.
“Hey, boyfriend,” she said as she gave my hand a squeeze.
The shit-eating grin lifted my cheeks again. “Hi yourself, girlfriend.”
“We probably shouldn’t play hooky today, should we?” Without releasing my hand, she sped up a little before turning to walk backwards so that she could meet my eyes.
I thought about the day we could have if we did and ached to say yes. “We probably shouldn’t. It’s probably a better idea to prove we’re going to be responsible even if we’re a couple.”
“Hmm, couple. I like the sound of it.” She turned around again, resting her head against my arm as we walked.
I dropped her hand and wrapped my arm around her shoulders.
“Maybe we can still be responsible if we’re a little late though?” she asked.
Why? What do you have in mind?”
She dragged me in the direction of the park where we’d played cards the day before—the park which had been “ours” for as long as I could remember and where everything had changed.
“Well, our first date was cut a little short, don’t you think?”
The ghost of her lips tracing over mine filled my mind, together with the memory of her tongue tangling with my own.
“Definitely,” I said, unable to keep the lust and desire from my voice.
We walked in silence until we arrived at our park. Without any verbal agreement, we made our way toward the table we’d claimed as our spot years earlier.
Alyssa sat on the bench and I took my usual place perched behind her on the table. I placed my legs on either side of her body and leaned my chin on the top of her head. It was a position we’d sat in hundreds of times before as we chatted about anything and everything. Only, this time it was different. Neither of us spoke, which had never really happened before. The silence around us was almost maddening; the only sound, our matching breaths.
“So—” we both said at the same time, before stopping at the same time.
“You go—” Again our voices were almost perfectly in sync.
I chuckled as she turned around and knelt on the bench to look at me. I helped her up onto the table beside me and just looked at her for a moment. Her lips called to me, and I wanted to kiss her, longed to with every part of me, but I didn’t know if I should. I didn’t want kissing to be the only thing we had.
There was so much more that I liked about her and none of those things had changed. Yet it was still different. Everything was different.
“Don’t hate me for asking, but is this weird as hell for you too?” she asked.
My relief that I wasn’t the only one who was feeling the new, odd atmosphere surrounding us escaped in a quiet laugh. “So
“It shouldn’t be though, should it?”
“No. I mean, we’re still us, right?”
She practically leapt in place. “Right!”
“We’re still friends,” I added. “We always will be.”
We’re just friends that kiss now.”
As she said the words, my gaze was drawn to her bright pink lip gloss. I licked my lips. “Friends that kiss a lot?”
“If you’re lucky.”
I trailed my hands into her hair, drawing her face slowly closer to mine. “Am I?”
“I don’t know,” she whispered. Her lips were so close to mine that I could feel her breath on my skin. “I’m starting to think that maybe I’m the lucky one.”
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Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.
Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.
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