Caroline wasn't quite sure how she got here, wrapped up in the most tender, most sensual, most all-consuming kiss of her life.
The man next to her was cradling her face, lips moving so softly, so gently over hers. His other hand had found hers, and his thumb was massaging circles onto her palm in a way that addled her mind and confused her senses. She didn't really know what to think or feel.
She didn't even know his name.
All she knew is that he was there and the timing was perfect and she couldn't have asked for anything better.
She tried to recount her thoughts, to figure out exactly what led to this serendipitous moment, but now she was entirely focused on one thing: his tongue, gently prodding her lips apart and creeping in to taste her mouth.
She might have whimpered.
"Caroline?" She heard her name, tugging at the very edges of her consciousness, calling her back, but she stubbornly refused to give in and focused on the man in front of her – his scent, his lips, his touch, everything about him.
"Caroline, what the hell?"
Tyler's voice was cutting and grating and she opened her eyes and reluctantly pulled away from the sandy-haired, smirking stranger sitting next to her. Her eyes were wide, her hair was mussed, and her lips were swollen. The stranger was panting a little bit as his deep blue eyes zeroed in on hers.
Tyler's hand pawed at her shoulder, pulling her back around to face him. His face was red and angry, and he kept throwing accusatory glances at the stranger before shifting his glare back to her.
Caroline looked back at him for a moment before answering. "You didn't want to kiss me, so I found someone that did."
She stood, brushing Tyler's spilled popcorn out of her lap, and muttered "excuse me" before hastily pushing past the stranger and the sulking blonde next to him to make her way out of the row of seats and into the lobby of the arena. She expected Tyler to follow and yell at her some more, but he didn't. When she glanced back down at her seat from the top of the steps, she saw that Tyler had returned to his phone call (although he was still shooting a nasty glare at the stranger), but the man who had just given her the best kiss of her life wasn't paying attention.
He was just staring back at her.
Caroline stood in the lobby of the arena and ran her hands through her hair for the seventh time.
What just happened? She asked herself again, not quite understanding how the last fifteen minutes of her life had occurred. She went back to the beginning and traced the imaginary steps that had led her here.
Two days ago, Tyler had surprised her with tickets to a basketball game (although she really didn't care about basketball, and let's be real, this was a present from him for him, not her), but being the dutiful (although somewhat ignored) girlfriend that she was, she put on a chipper smile and graciously accepted his gift.
Everything was going well until Tyler's cell phone rang. As an executive at a well-known investment firm, Tyler had to be reachable, as Caroline liked to say, "twenty-five hours a day, eight days a week," so he took the call.
And talked. And talked. And talked.
A politer person would have excused himself to take the call in the lobby, but that wasn't how Tyler played. He made himself the most important person in the room, other people's thoughts, opinions, and feelings be damned.
He was still on the phone, angrily speaking in financial terms that Caroline didn't understand, when the kiss-cam started to make its way around the arena.
Caroline had always loved kiss-cams; she loved the gushy, romantic displays of affection that kiss-cams represented, the fairytale-esque happily-ever-afters that she dreamed up for the couples that she saw.
Tyler didn't feel the same way, apparently, as the little drone hovered near them and zoomed in on the couple, projecting their image in a cheesy red and pink heart on the jumbo-screen. Caroline tugged on his arm, laughing and pointing, but he just glanced up, looking irritated and waved her off. She frowned as the camera quickly changed to a different couple, but the drone didn't go away. It stayed, hovering just a few feet away from her, and as she glanced back up, she understood why.
The image was back to them, giving Tyler a second chance. She tugged more urgently this time, still keeping her best Miss Mystic smile in place as she pretended to coo and cajole Tyler into paying attention. Tyler covered the mouthpiece of his phone and turned to face her, and she leaned in, preparing for an innocent, cute little kiss.
Instead, he yelled at her. "I'm busy, Caroline, let me work," he scolded, voice gruff and angry. She sat back in a huff, trying to tamp down the tears, refusing to let herself cry in front of thousands of people.
She looked up and glanced around, trying to assess the damage, to spot those who were undoubtedly snickering at her so that she could send them her most withering glare, but instead, she made eye contact with a handsome stranger to her left. She had noticed him before the game started, offering an awkward, "Hello, please excuse me," as she shuffled past his turned knees to get to her seat. She may have stepped on his foot. She didn't really know.
The stranger had quirked a perfect eyebrow at her, seeming to offer a challenge – if he's not man enough, I will be.
She wasn't really sure who had made the first move, but suddenly, she was halfway in his lap, his arms were wrapped around her, and she was lost in the best kiss of her life. She knew the camera was still focused on her because she heard wolf-whistles and catcalls echo around the arena. If it weren't for Tyler's interruption, she would still be kissing him right now.
"Ugh, stupid," She murmured to herself, rubbing a hand over her eyes as she felt her cheeks burn, although that didn't stop her from re-imagining the kiss, how his lips were a perfect fit for hers, how the tip of his tongue flicked against her lips, how he had caressed her face, her hair, her shoulder…
"Actually, the word I was going for was amazing," a smooth, accented voice cut through her embarrassment and made her freeze, peeking through her fingers at the still smirking, sandy-haired stranger that she had just been fantasizing about.
She stood up and cleared her throat. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out.
"Your blush is actually quite beautiful," he offered, not moving any closer to her, standing with his hands clasped behind his back.
She still just stared, her eyes traveling the length of his body and back to his face, wide with disbelief.
"Are you going to say anything back?" He mused with a small smile. "Or did my kiss stun you silent?"
Her eyes narrowed at that, she was just about to throw a scathing retort his way when he interrupted her again.
"I guess I should at least offer you my name. It's Klaus. Klaus Mikaelson."
She softened a bit, and replied, "Caroline. Caroline Forbes." She paused, then added, "And no, it didn't stun me silent."
The smirk returned with a vengeance.
"The fact that my boyfriend is going to come out here and kill me is what stunned me into silence. The fact that I just humiliated myself in front of thousands of people stunned me silent." Her voice was acidic.
The stranger – or Klaus, as it was now apparent – paused and studied her. "Sweetheart, the only one who humiliated himself was that idiot back there. If he doesn't take every opportunity in the world to kiss you, didn't take the opportunity to prove to thousands of people that you belonged to him, he is the greatest fool to walk the earth." His gaze was intense, and Caroline lost herself in it for a moment as he took a step closer leaning in slightly and licking his lower lip as he watched her.
"I don't belong to anyone," Caroline sniped, although she noticed his use of the past tense when he said "belonged." She crossed her arms over her chest and leaned her weight back on one foot, popping her hip in the stance that Tyler called "angry, intimidating Caroline."
"Clearly," he smirked back.
Caroline raised an eyebrow, and he mimicked her, copying her stance and expressions, drawing a small smile from her.
"Ah, there it is." He exclaimed; when Caroline furrowed an eyebrow, he explained, "A smile. And it was just as beautiful as I thought it would be."
Caroline's face broke out into a bigger, slightly more sheepish grin, but his comments had the desired effect. She's breath-taking, Klaus thought to himself.
"Look," he started, glancing down to the ground in an uncharacteristic show of shyness, "I'm sure you're going to leave with him," he looked back at her face, catching and holding her gaze, "though I must be honest and say that I hope you leave with me, but," he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet, extracting a small card. "I want to give you this. You could," he paused, searching for the right words. He didn't do this, give out his number or chase girls or follow them out into the lobby to see if they were alright after kissing (or a different verb) them senseless. But here he was, enchanted by this woman. "I don't know, call me. Or text. Or email." He finished lamely, holding the card out to her. His hand was shaking a little bit, he noticed with a scowl that lifted when Caroline reached for his card.
Caroline smiled and tentatively took the card from him, looking down to read it. It was simple enough; she traced her finger over his name, phone number, email, and title – he apparently owned White Oak Inc., a small chain of clubs littered across New York and Los Angeles, renowned for their exclusivity and opulence. It was the kind of place that Caroline could never even dream of stepping foot in. She looked back up at him. "Maybe I will. Maybe all three." She joked, shrugging and offering him another smile; he reciprocated, releasing a breath of relief he didn't know he was holding. They stayed lock in each other's gaze for a few more moments.
"Caroline," Tyler's angry voice cut through the almost empty lobby. His face was heated and bitter; Caroline rolled her eyes as he marched up to the pair and grabbed her arm.
"Let go, Tyler." She yanked her arm back just as Klaus reached across and knocked Tyler away from her.
"Don't do that again, mate." Klaus warned. His face was hard, maybe even a bit dangerous. It sent shivers down Caroline's back.
"Who the hell are you, buddy?" Tyler glared back, fisting his hands against his sides. Klaus took another menacing step forward.
"Tyler, stop." She stepped between the two and put her hands on her boyfriend's chest. He looked smug, but she just shook her head sadly, then turned back to Klaus and took a deep breath. "Did you mean what you said about leaving with you?"
A wide smile broke on Klaus' lips as a range of emotions – smugness, elation, confidence, disbelief – flitted across his face. He studied Caroline's hesitantly trusting eyes and Tyler's murderous face while slipping his phone from his pocket and reverently, softly skimming his finger over her cheek.
"Let me tell the driver to meet us outside."
This is unabashedly based on that video of the girl and the random guy kissing at a basketball game after the girl's boyfriend ignores her. It screamed Klaroline vs. Forwood.
I may very well make this a two- or three-shot.