Tag Archives: love

Local artist rocks the romance scene

19 Oct

Madeline Hunter IS LOCAL! hurrah!!!! I thought it was a fib when a handy little sticker on the cover said “local artist”.  Go Pittsburgh Go!

Author of a wonderful quartet I zoomed through, The Rarest Blooms,  Hunter’s latest is “Dangerous in Diamonds”.

Now, you’ll want to start at the beginning for this quartet because spattered throughout the novels are allusions to events from other novels. Not that it makes the reading any less fabulous if you want to start in the middle and work your way out.  Oreos are great this way too…

I read Dangerous In Diamonds twice already. I’m not sure where to start with what intrigued me that much to do it all over twice. The first reason to double read it is the Duke of Castleford. Gotta love a Duke right? Well, he’s not exactly the loveable type-unless you consider a drunkard and whoremonger as your ideal husbandly type.  It’s the idea that a man can change at the drop of a beautiful woman.  Well maybe not just beautiful, but the better word is ideal. 

It’s an interesting psychological transformation.

Another reason to read it is that it touches on a woman dealing with her friends “moving on in life”, which is always relevant in my opinion.   A third reason is that Hunter uses “the truth will set you free” wonderfully in her plot. And it makes me smile.


i just need somebody to love…

28 Jul

woke up. bieber was in my head. no i’m not (completely) ashamed of myself. happy hump day all!!!!

even other mammals need a bit of lovin’

20 Jul

.i know, but really, how in love must these two be to kung fu fight?.

in response to the classic disney song, I can definitely feel the love tonight

.check it out..soul mates. from: http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=35952in

Mystery High part 3

7 Jul

I really need a new name for the story…mystery high sounds so, well, mysterious. It’s really not meant to be–I just couldn’t find a high school that fit my description…anywho. Until there’s a new name, Mystery High it remains….

The idea that I had turned into a fully fledged stalker didn’t escape my notice.  To try and catch a glimpse of him again, I lingered in the halls well past second bell so that I was late to every class.   And in every class, I took a bathroom break and wandered, slyly looking into every class window I walked by.  The guy was nowhere to be seen.  I let out a frustrated Argh during my final period’s washroom break. This was absolutely unnecessary.  I really shouldn’t have been hunting the guy down like a tiger an antelope.  He’d turned out to be one tricky antelope.   Arie. Stop. In my last turn of the hall, I bent down to take a drink from the water fountain and heard footsteps approaching.

My heart and imagination leapt into overdrive as I imagined it was he, coming down the hall, because he was looking for me too! And when I stood up I would feel him behind me.  In slow motion, I would turn and see that we’re so close that a kiss was the only possible move.  His breath would smell of spicy cinnamon gum and his chocolate eyes would gleam in the dimming hall sunlight.

“Hey,” he’d say.

In my most suave moment, I’d smile at him in a heartbreaking way and he’d know it was okay to kiss me.  He’d lean in with a dimpled half smile and…

A throat was cleared behind me. I double blinked and realized that I’d been leaning over the water fountain this entire time.  My cheeks flared red and I straightened, turning slightly to see my teacher, arms folded behind me.  If I didn’t say anything, maybe he wouldn’t know it was me? Or maybe it wouldn’t matter that I’d been loitering for the last, what?..I looked down at my watch, holy crap! I’d been out of class for 20 minutes.

“Miss Huston. I think you’ve had enough water this period, don’t you?” my movements were slow and showed my humiliation.   When I faced him, I kept my eyes to the ground and tried to let my wavy hair drape over my face.

“Yes sir.”

“Get back to class.”

“Yes sir.”

But I had a problem following this simple obedience: in my stalk-age, I didn’t even use the bathroom.  And as I just drank a gallon of water, and my bladder was the size of a peach pit, I’d actually have to use the restroom soon. Very very soon-or there would be mortification to pay with.  It would be just another item to cross off of my “humiliations in high school” list: peed myself in eighth period.

Back in class, I groaned as I resumed my seat and spent the next 7 minutes and 38 seconds shaking my leg to distract my bladder from its function in life.  When the leg wasn’t enough, I took to tapping my pencil like an idiot.  I was distracting everyone around me but I didn’t dare ask to be excused again.  By the time the final bell rang there were tears in my eyes from the sting of a crying bladder.  I bolted out of class as fast as my legs would let me and I rammed right into someone.  What the hell.

I excused myself without really registering who it was and I was ready to football it through the hordes of teens spilling out into the hallway when the person’s hand grabbed my arm.


Ugh crap.

“Luke? What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be getting ready for football practice?” I was dancing in place and his blue eyes watched me with some amusement.  For a moment, I was lost in those eyes and as he answered me, the volume of his voice faded to mute.  The tiny voice of my bladder rose to cover his and was urgently bellowing in my brain.  Damn. Couldn’t catch a break today.

“Luke listen, I gotta go pee.” And I ran.


It was the longest pee of my life.  The sensation went from pain to satisfaction and kept going. Soon, other girls filled the restroom, their high pitched or snarly voices intermingling with one another.  After a few seconds and some exiting, I could discern who it was who was left talking.  They were two girls from Tiffany’s cheerleading squad, Ashley and Madison.

“So yeah! I totally heard that Jenny saw Luke, like, all over Arie.”

“Oh my god. No way.”


“Like when?”

“I don’t know. Does it matter?” My eyes were wide with the news that Luke was “all over me” and I leaned forward to look through the crack of the door.  I watched as Ashley applied lip gloss and Madison fiddled with her bangs.

“What about Tiff?”

“What about Tiff?” In between smacks of her lips, Ashley continued saying, “Tiffany obviously knows something’s up otherwise she wouldn’t have said something to Kayla in aesthetics.” Tiff had aesthetics after lunch.  I leaned back in disbelief as I was bombarded with more information and speculation.  I listened to them debate on how long Luke was cheating on Tiffany with me and if I’d always had a thing for him, and if he was doing it to pity me.  That one hurt. What hurt more was when they said that Tiff was only my friend because she’d known me so long, and it was about time she ‘cut the cord’.  I listened as a few tears made their way onto my cheeks and I firmly brushed them away.  When they’d left I zipped up my jeans and cautiously stepped out of the blue painted stall.

My eyes didn’t betray me with red rims. I was surprised at that, but I still splashed some cold water on my face to wake me up from self pity. I’d lived with the “no self pity” mantra for so long that I forgot I’d need it when it came to things other than hospital visits and bad news.  Self pity could strike even on the best of days, helping add them to your worst. And that’s not where they belonged.

“It’s been a good day,” I told myself, wishing that I actually really believed it.


I was outside, having a staring match with my car. Her name was Daisy.  We were in a showdown, Daisy and I.  She, a white, ‘95 Accord, and I, a 16 year old brunette.  It was a constant battle between the two of us, but I couldn’t help but love her.  She was just as damaged as me, and if I couldn’t love something so damaged, how could I expect someone to love me?  My dad had sat me down a few times to try and get me to get rid of the car, and he even offered to get me a new one. It was a moot point though-why get one when I wouldn’t need it for long and they’d be stuck paying it off?  I couldn’t do that to them.  But today, with the heat being 90 and my AC non-existent, I seriously considered the offer.

From across the lot, I begged her silently to start and take me home with no complications. But when I stepped out onto the scorching pavement, I knew there was no way in this infernal heat that she would do me a solid and start.  It was too damn hot.  I jingled my keys in my pocket and continued towards my car.  As I grabbed the handle and swung the door open, a blast of heat escaped, laughing at my misfortune. Dropping my book bag on the cement, I gingerly seated myself in the driver’s seat.  Inserting my key, the lights all flashed on and as I turned on the ignition there was a simple whine that told me she wasn’t going anywhere.

I hung my head, letting it touch the steering wheel when I felt the little hairs on my forehead burn away. It was scalding hot, and I jerked my head back, letting the headrest catch me.

I didn’t see him approach so when I heard his familiar voice sound, I jumped a mile into the tiny space of my car.

“Sorry I, ugh, didn’t mean to scare you,” Luke said, a worried frown on his forehead.  I scoffed back, “yeah right.”

“You need a ride?”

“Not from you-don’t you have anything better to do? How about football?”

He got intense there, for a second, like there were serious thoughts running through his head.

“Shut up Arie and get in my car.” He was exasperated, from what I had no idea, but I hadn’t heard that tone in a long while so I gave up my fight and said,


oh these days are long….and FABULOUS!

24 Jun

it’s been one whirlwind of  a month! There has been an abundance of celebrating including my husband’s band’s cd release party…


check out their CD sampler here: http://otrov.info/mp3/OtrovCDsampler.mp3

….my birthday…

…and our 1st anniversary!

It’s been a year filled with love, laughter, understanding and awe, as I’m pretty much the luckiest gal in the world to have him by my side.

ps. I had the most fabulous comment from a friend who happened to read Mystery High. Her wedding is quickly approaching in 86 days, everyone cross your fingers for her…. Thanks for making my day Patricia!!!

Oh, but you don’t know of what a woman dreams…

8 Jun

I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do…but now that I’m reading a romance by Eloisa James, Desperate Duchesses, I’m inclined to fall back on a memory of a man I once dated.  A Casanova to be sure, he claimed that he learned everything he knew, about what women wanted, through reading romance novels.  Purely for informational purposes I was assured.



Aside from mulling over his curiosity in a bestselling worldwide genre of books, I thought, ‘is that really what women want?’

Yes. At least to a point.

Since that fateful conversation, I’ve tried to coerce any man willing to listen into cracking open a romance, to really learn the mystery behind What Women Want-at least in bed that is.  But which one would I recommend? From what time? A short harlequin? The Flame and the Flower? Gone with the Wind? A modern romance? The truth is, romance novels have evolved.

It seems that the century we live in is quite taken with history and bungling up historical figures to suit our own imaginations.  A fact that is fine by me.  So, from the perspective of historical romances (my favourite) one main theme that runs through more recent romance novelists is the idea of engaging in sexual intimacies (pre-marriage of course) usually pushed for by the virgin woman.   However, the man, usually a member of the aristocracy, being so head over heels in love because of that one blissful encounter, demands to have her as his wife.  Well, it’s either that or honour pushes him to do the right thing.  In which case, the woman takes her due and makes sure, through words or heroic actions, that he loves her first.  For what is a marriage without love?  Of course, she gets her way in the end. And they live happily ever after.

The 70’s, those first turbulent spirited days of historical romances, honed in on a different side to women.  This one, led by authors such as Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers, tapped into a more primal level. One which recognized arguing as an integral part of passion; one which showed a side to men including infidelity; one which allowed for human, especially the women’s, folly.  But in the end, the rocky couple get married and live happily ever after.  Usually with a baby neatly in tow a few months later.

So what do women want?  For me, after reading a more recent author, I find satisfaction lacking when I reach the end.  That’s not to say I wasn’t greatly disturbed and intrigued reading Woodiwiss’, The Flame and the Flower, either.  A balance between the two maybe? Who’s to say? Each woman is different. But even a dimwit can’t help but notice the end result is always the same….marriage and maybe a baby….hmm…perhaps we’re not so mysterious after all….

and she smiled owlishly…

19 May

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

you ever seen an owl smile? …well, jeeze, if this doesn’t make you smile on this overcast day, not sure what will.  

A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home.  ~Author Unknown

Mystery High Part 2

12 May

continued from “Pick a high school, any high school you want”…posted May 10, 2010….

“Arie?…You awake?…” a voice called from the distance, and it sounded suspiciously like Luke…and not the one I was currently dreaming of…wait. What is that smell??

“Ugh..what the eff?” My nose scrunched up and I continued to let the curses roam free out of my mouth while I tried to escape the horrible stench.

“Language Miss Huston, language,” a stern yet laughing voice commanded from beyond the disgustingness of smell. Hey, I know that voice…

“Nurse Dillon?” The smell, those were smelling salts. And… Omg. I passed out in front of Luke, on Luke. My eyes shot open and I blushed furiously at what had happened. I sat up with the speed of a rebounding Dodo Clown and looked around, searching for the calling voice from my dream. A wave of dizziness slapped over me and Nurse Dillon held my arm while she continued to talk,

“He’s gone Miss Huston, I sent him back to class. Said yintz gave him a right scare. He carried you to the office he did, right like a knight.” I gently laid back down, well, I wasn’t given much of a choice what with Nurse Dillon’s one hand now pushing me back down and the other one setting aside the smelling salts. “That’s one nice boyfriend you’ve got yourself there. He refused to leave, but I said I’d give you both detention if he didn’t get hisself back to class, and what with exams right around the corner he mumbled about you not being pleased if you got a detention.” Yep, darn tooting I wouldn’t be pleased. I would’ve cursed him to high devil’s home if he got me stuck with detention because he was trying to play white knight.  Stupid do-gooder. Still, I couldn’t help but smile. It was nice of him.

“Now, Miss Huston. Not to be all digging n all, but have you eaten today?”  Her brown eyes were flecked with amber and bored into mine. She must’ve been really pretty when she was young and she still had this way of charming any information out of you. She was also one of the only people I’d let touch me, or know the truth about what’s going on.

“No ma’am.” With an unnatural speed for a woman her age, she bent down and was back up in a flash with a tray of food.

“Well, that’s what Mr. Goodman and I thought.  Before I sent him back to class, I made him get you a full tray of food.”

At the sound of Luke’s name I blushed.  I reached for the tray and was surprised when she held it out of my reach, “Arie. You be good to that one. And make sure you thank him for all he did.” Again, her eyes searched mine for any semblance that a lie was going to pass my lips.

“I will ma’am. And thank you.” He wasn’t mine anyways.

She assessed me once more, this time with one eye closed (which totally made me giggle) and then the tray was in my lap.

“You finish off every last bite then go to class.”

I nodded, a granny smith apple in my mouth.

By the time I was released from the caring clutches of Nurse Dillon, I’d missed first period. Although Luke was a year older, we had shared some classes last semester because I took almost all AP classes.  This semester though, we didn’t have any together. All the better. I pulled the straps to my backpack tighter so that I felt suffocatingly cocooned.  I exhaled and continued onto my second class: Trig.  Tiffany was only in my first period soc class.

I’d have to see her, and him, at lunch which meant I had until then to figure out what I was going to say I bought her, and how I could repay him.

♥ ♥ ♥

“Toodles!” I saw her blonde curls waving some of her flock away from down the hall and I rolled my eyes. Of course Tiff would have her hair done for her birthday.  She was probably at the salon at 6 am…ie. 2 hours before it opened. I mean, not that the curls do anything to really take away from her personality, she’s super nice.

“Hey biatch!” well, Wtheck? She’d never called me that before, I swear. New fad? Maybe. It’s probably because I didn’t decorate her locker. Damn high school politics.  As she approached me I thought I saw a flash of steel in those keen grey eyes of hers. Then again, maybe I just imagined it.  After all, I did pass out this morning.

“Happy birthday girl! You look fantabulous.”  My perma-headache had subsided somewhat so I actually smiled fully at her.

“You think?” Again I rolled my eyes and watched her spin, giving her a polite yet dignified clap. It’s us. The role we play is set. I’m the best friend and she’s my best friend. She really was wearing a cute little spring/summer number…if I’m not mistaken, by Marc Jacobs.  She’s a queen of Saks, preferring the New York Saks to the downtown Pittsburgh one.   She’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about the preference and which designers make NY better. Tiffany is Old Pittsburgh money. I am No Pittsburgh money.  But I know all the designers out there and vow to one day go to school to become a clothing designer. Tiff’s been a mannequin for more than one of my designs and I run the fashion show every year as one of the many artists being showcased.

Looking past me her eyes lit up, and I started to blush right away. I knew who was behind me.

“Are those for me?” she squealed in delight and I was happy for her. I swear. Luke walked right past me and picked her up in a bear hug, spinning her around while making out. This was a feat only a prize star athlete could achieve and was usually reserved for the movies.  Not in Tiffany’s world though. In hers, everything was possible.

On one of their rotations I saw he was holding a dozen lavender coloured roses in his hands. I inhaled deeply and walked past the love birds.  I wish she saw what I saw in him. I wish she would stop messing this relationship up.  Walking to the cafeteria, the side of my mouth quirked up.  He’d messed up though. Lavender roses were my favourite. Calla lilies were hers- “of course they’re my favourite, I want them all over the place at our wedding!”  That was something she’d said before the whole assistant makeout-and-more session.   I sighed, I would just have to make it up to both of them that I didn’t remind him what her favourite flowers were.  And chances are, knowing Tiff, she wouldn’t have remembered mine.

Outside of the cafeteria, and between the library, there was a kind of “modern” empty space, also known as a waste of space.  Along the library windows though, was a seating ledge where all the senior jocks sat and on many a day, held up numbers to rate chicks as they walked by.  Once the principal, Mrs. Gorgan, caught whiff, she’d given them all detention.  It hadn’t stopped them yet though.   They just do it infrequently, with no pattern except maybe mimicking a play in football.  Today was one of those days-totally just my friggen luck.

They clapped for me, pretty much just as I had for Tiff.  I turned just long enough to send them a scathing “I HATE YOU ALL.” look. And before I could avert my gaze, so I didn’t look at what my score was (shudder), I saw one that made me stumble.  He held up a 10 and was looking at me with THE most intense look I’d ever seen. Shit I didn’t even know if I’ve ever been looked at like that.  After I stumbled, I tripped over my own feet and landed in an inelegant pile right there.  Serves me right. I don’t know what serves me right but something must.  When he saw me stumble he dropped the number and did a light jog over. The rest of the jocks were laughing their butts off, like it was the funniest thing they’d seen since The Hangover.  His hair was dark brown and cut pretty short, like he wasn’t trying to be cool or anything.   He had deep set brown eyes and a look about him that screamed, “I know more than I let on.”  Okay, so this day was just plain fabulous.  Note the sarcasm here. It wasn’t fabulous. But it did keep getting weirder and weirder.

When he reached me he had this soft half smile going on that made my stomach do fluttery flip flops.  I hadn’t moved, I mean really, I was in a no win situation here, so I could at least make sure I would stand with some grace.  Slow and steady wins the race.  He stretched out a huge hand down towards me.

“Need some help up?” Just then, there was a flurry of steps in our direction with a hollering voice leading the way,

“Arie! Arie!!!!” My eyes widened and the mystery guy stood up straighter to see what all the commotion was about. His eyes narrowed as he watched a frantic Luke practically throw himself down at my side.  Luke grabbed my shoulders and looked into my eyes, “Are you okay? Arie are you okay?” I didn’t really know what the heck was going on this twilight zone of a day.  I nodded and he did something that really shocked me, he pulled me into a hug and rocked me gently.  His hands were in my hair and as my arms tentatively went around shoulders he whispered, “I thought I lost you. Oh my God. I thought you were gone again.”

I looked past him to see an unsure Tiff standing by, now a few people circling us. I cleared my throat, this was totally awkward. I patted his back saying, “Luke, I’m okay, I promise. I just tripped.” It was a bit of a maneuver but I managed to twist a bit to see the guy who thought I was a 10 still standing there, not knowing his role anymore.  We locked eyes and he gave me a one handed wave as he backed up and away from this little scene. Before he turned away from me though, he held his hands up, showing me 10 fingers spread apart and gave me a wink.   I blushed and smiled to myself, finally extracting Luke from me we stood up.  He was talking as the three of us, me, Tiff, and him, walked into the cafeteria to get some food but I wasn’t listening.  I thought about the guy, why I’d never seen him, who he was, and if he was kidding about thinking I was a 10. And jeeze, what if he said every girl was a 10 and I was stupid enough to believe it was just me? Meh. I shrugged and smiled even more. I looked back to where the jocks were seated and he was gone. Oh well, our school was only 3000 students large, there must be some chance that we’ll bump into one another again. When I tuned back into the convo, I realized that Luke was telling Tiff about our early morning meeting and what happened.  She was looking at me strangely and he was looking at me with something akin to pity. But I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face.

“Whatever guys. I’m okay and lunch is on me. It’s the least I can do.” I smiled at both of them and as I picked up the tab, I almost forgot I hadn’t gotten paid yet and I’d be broke till Friday. Pay day. Oh well, who needs money anyways…especially when someone thinks you’re a 10?

To be continued….

ev·o·lu·tion   [ev-uh-loo-shuhn]

11 May

Def’n: development: a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage (especially a more advanced or mature stage) —from: wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

I’m evolving…sometimes words aren’t enough to explain love…especially on a rainy day…

Have a happy rainy love filled day Pittsburgh…

ps. the next part to a high school story is almost done…and pps. don’t you just plain ♥ how the woman with the umbrella looks miserable (yet dry??) ah, l’amour. nothing like it.

Pick a high school…any high school ya want….

10 May

I’ve never been in a high school in Pittsburgh, so I’m not sure which would fit the bill here… I had a dream I wrote about it last night and so, set out to do so today…if anyone feels like enlightening me about any high school that could fit, feel free to leave it in a comment…

I slammed my locker shut, much to the chagrin of my steadily pounding brain.  I’d been having these headaches that last a few days…nothing like a migraine or anything, just a steady hum of torture. The torture was a lingering shadow on everything I did.  I kept on forgetting things, and even my oh-so-handy lists weren’t helping me out because reading was killing my skull. Had to keep any extracurricular reading to a minimum to make sure I had enough brain juice to get my homework done. This morning was just the same. I had to go back into the house twice to pick up much needed homework and text books. Then my ‘88 Chevy Nova wouldn’t start and although I wanted to scream, I couldn’t-my head would have probably exploded. It had been a morning of heavy breathing trying to hold back frustrated tears. In short, as of today, I hated my life.

I got to school late and my car’s engine gave out just as I rolled into a parking spot. I wanted to slash my own tires, take a bat to my windows and key my doors.  And did I do any of those dramatic Carrie Underwood things? Nope. I hung my head and walked dejectectedly into school.  Just thinking about all the crap that happened since I’d woken up made my head hurt just that much more, and now, the slam on the locker echoed in my brain and upped my headache a notch.  My hands automatically went up on either side of my blue top locker and I rested my forehead head against its coolness. The locker face was just as comforting as my mother’s touch…everything was just too blimey bright, loud, annoying and well, everything, today.  I turned my head to one side and noticed that the brightness included my best friend’s locker.

Oh shit. It’s not…I walked over to the festive locker about 8 lockers down, feeling like every step was leading me closer to doomsday. When I reached her fully decorated locker, my heart plummeted to my stomach.  It was Tiffany’s birthday. And I forgot.  Thank the lord someone remembered to decorate it. Regardless, I’m sure I’ll be eaten for her lunch for this. Man, knowing her, she might’ve decorated it herself to save herself the mortification of accepting a terrible best friend.

Could this day get any worse? COULD IT?

Breathe, breathe, and breathe some more.

I scowled to myself and fingered the loose, frantically happy orange and yellow ribbon on her locker and the second bell sounded.  So I’m not as late as I thought. I closed my eyes and let my hand drop, breathing again.  All that heavy breathing obviously wasn’t helping out my hearing because I didn’t hear someone walk up, and when I turned to head to class, I walked right into them. Them being a very big muscular someone. Oh. No. I squeezed my eyes shut. This is just a bad dream. This whole day is just one bad dream.

My hands fumbled to make their way up to show I didn’t mean to walk into them. I opened one eye cautiously to look straight into a wide chest and I silently prayed that it wasn’t who I thought it was (although I knew).  I shrugged slowly, kinda looking more like a cringe, and the chest took a tiny step back.  My gaze traveled up to meet two very bright blue eyes. Hubida mushy brain blue umm yum. I honestly thought today couldn’t get any worse, but fate had a TOTALLY different opinion on the matter.

“Hey, you need this?” He was holding something…but my brain (as previously mentioned) wasn’t working up to any sort of par. Plus, I had dreamt of those blue eyes every night for the past 2 weeks.  Heck, way longer than that if I wanted to be honest with myself.  It was surreal to see them looking at me, even if they had an amused glitter to them. Although I mean, I saw him all the time and talked to him, albeit, only when I spoken to. It was an unsaid rule of mine.

Today my guard was down and I responded with some sort of infantile gurgle instead of my usual sarcastic cruel snap of verbal abuse.

ARH#&@#$*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Work brain! WORK!

“Ugh, what?” I shook my head to get those cogs and gears spinning, and I’m pretty sure I looked like a shaggy dog.  My “cool-meter” firmly commanded me: Easy there Beethoven, stop moving your head. I froze and his expression went from amused to confused. He slowly, I guess not to frighten me (in my head, I rolled my eyes, I’m such a moron), lifted his hand up to show me a black sharpie marker. My face showed just how little my brain was registering and I tried to put up my usual scowl only reserved for him but he responded only by looking somewhere between amused and confused as he uncapped the lid and mimicked signing Tiffany’s locker.  He turned back to me to tentatively hand me the black marker.  Heat infused my cheeks and now I had no idea if my next step should be to go play on the I-579 or jump off the Liberty Bridge. Either one would save me from this. I looked at the marker which he was waving in front of my face and the toxic smell reached my nose. I inhaled and reached for it begrudgingly (he must’ve been the one to decorate) as a thought drifted into my fuzzy brain…oh no, I’m gonna pass out. I quickly did a rundown of the food I ate. There wasn’t enough-I didn’t eat today yet, and I barely ate dinner yesterday. Nope. There was no stopping it. I had a bit of a problem with fainting. Yep. There goes the cherry to my bad day sundae…

I passed out, but not before I registered that I was fainting into Luke’s arms while his voice was raised in panic calling my name…the Luke who Tiffany was supposed to be dating (and was being cheated on with some assistant of her dad’s… “hey it’s not like we’re getting married or anything” she’d told me when I caught her making out with the much older blonde guy in her library), the Luke who completely haunted my dreams, the Luke who was VERY off limits and I tried my hardest to make those limits as fortified as the Great Wall of China.

Hey, it wasn’t a bad way to go down- at least I had a legit reason to be in his arms. I smiled for the first time that day. Yep. Legit is simply legit.

♥ ♥ ♥

10 minutes later and a trip to the nurses office:

“Arie?…You awake?…”

To be continued….