A/N: So, I had the idea for this fic in the middle of the night; literally in the middle of the night. This is an AU fic, and you'll have to read it in order to find out what it's really about. I would have given you spoilers, but they will kind of give the whole story away, so...I love books myself and hence the birth of this story. Without further ado,


Bookish Love


Chapter One


I would never read a book if it were possible for me

To talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.

-Woodrow Wilson

In the comfortable, soothing, serene silence of the library sat a young girl, probably in her early twenties, with her dirty blonde mop tied into a messy ponytail. Her bright green eyes were transfixed on the pages of the book she was reading. "Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte"-the words were embossed in large gold letters on the cover.

She was a habitué of this place from the age of eight. From her childhood itself, books had been her best friend, literally her best friend. For she had always been a demure, introvert little girl with blonde pigtails and sharp cat-like green eyes, not particularly extrovert or loquacious.

She had never been very good at making friends, and her only friend apart from books was her younger sister Lexie, who had forever been a close confidante.

She sat in her chair, completely engrossed in her book while a jumble of other books was strewn all over the table top. She was oblivious to everything right now, as she read her book. Nothing could distract her right now. Nothing could break her attention.

The deep timbre of a male voice did break her attention though.

Now, it has to be mentioned that she wasn't the kind of girl whose attention could be easily caught by a male voice.

How could a girl, who was barely able to make friends, ever possibly have a boyfriend? Not that guys were not interested in her. She was good-looking and sapient beyond her years, and she could make a few heads turn when she walked into the room.

But she had never been interested in those guys. She had always been kind of a nerd and preferred spending time with books rather than with guys. Yet, there was something about this particular voice that made her look up from the book she was reading.

Her eyes alighted on the source of the voice, a tall figure standing in the doorway with a duffel bag in his hand.

As he neared her table, she gained a better view of the man's face. He had to be in his late twenties or early thirties. He had dazzling cerulean eyes, ebony curls that were perfectly coiffed and a slightly crooked nose. His mouth was curved upwards softly as he held a phone to his ear with his right hand and talked to someone on the other end. Meredith could not turn her eyes away from him as she watched him walk over to a table just a few feet away from her. The guy pulled back a chair at the table and sat down, laughing softly as he continued his conversation on the phone. Meredith was immediately captivated by his melodious laugh, his dazzling eyes and his handsome face.

Suddenly, the guy turned his face sideways and locked eyes with Meredith, catching Meredith off guard. She had been staring at the guy with great intent till then, and her cheeks reddened when the guy caught her staring at him so abruptly. She instantly averted her eyes from the guy and looked down at the pages of her book, her cheeks suffused with a crimson colour. She cussed herself mentally amidst her embarrassment at being caught, and prayed like hell that the guy didn't get any wrong impression about her.

Meredith kept her eyes trained on the printed letters on the pages, not having the courage to look up at the guy again. The clock ticked by as Meredith tried her level best to concentrate on her reading, but for the first time in her life, she couldn't focus on reading. She just couldn't, and she had no idea why. She had always been able to drown in her books without paying heed to the outside world, then what was it about this guy that made it hard for her to get lost in the words of her book again?

Seconds turned into minutes, and minutes turned into an hour as Meredith sat at her table, constantly thinking about the blue-eyed guy sitting at the nearby table. His fathomless ocean-blue eyes, his ebony hair, his perfect smile, Meredith just couldn't get any of it out of her head. Meredith Grey was not the girl who drooled over gorgeous guys or spent day after day thinking about them, and yet, Meredith could not get over this guy, of whom she had caught only a glimpse.

Letting out a frustrated sigh, Meredith snapped her book shut and grimaced. What on Earth was wrong with her? Why couldn't she get this guy out of her head? Meredith stood up from her chair and lifted the book in her arms. No point in reading a book that she couldn't even concentrate on. Maybe, if she got something else to read, she would be able to find her concentration again. With that thought in mind, Meredith looked sideways to see if the blue-eyed guy was still sitting at the table. However, her eyes widened in slight surprise and extreme disappointment when she saw that the chair on which the guy had been sitting, was vacant.

"He must have left..." Meredith mused to herself disappointedly as she shook her head and made her way over to the bookshelves. Walking over to the shelf from which she had taken the book out, she carefully placed the book back in its place and looked at some of the other titles in order to find something interesting to read.

Walking slowly, Meredith's eyes skimmed the various titles of the books which were neatly shelved in an alphabetical order.

"Anna Karenina, Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, Robinson Crusoe, The Confessions..." Meredith read the titles out loud to herself as she kept walking to her right. Suddenly, the title of a book caught Meredith's eyes, causing her to come to an abrupt halt.

"Emma By Jane Austen," Meredith read aloud to herself. "Hmm...This sounds interesting," Meredith mused as she lifted her hands and took the book out of the row of books with utmost care. As soon as Meredith had taken the book out and had created a gap in the bookshelf, her grey-green eyes locked with a pair of dazzling blue ones. Her eyes widened in surprise as she found herself looking into two oceans of sparkling blue. The blue eyes smiled back at her as she stared into them in surprise.

"That's a good book," the guy remarked from the other side of the bookshelf, smiling softly at Meredith through the narrow gap in the bookshelf. The guy's sudden remark caused Meredith to snap out of her spell and avert her eyes in embarrassment. God, this was the second time that the guy had caught her staring at him, what must he be thinking about her?

"Uh – um – what?" Meredith stuttered, her mind not having registered the guys' words amidst all her embarrassment.

"The book you took out – 'Emma – 'that is a good book. A fine piece of work by Jane Austen..." the guy repeated, his lips still curved upwards into a soft, genial smile.

"Oh, um – yeah, yeah...It looks like it'd be good..." Meredith murmured uncertainly as she took the chance and looked up at the guy again, only to find him smiling at her.

"Do you come here often?" the guy asked in a friendly tone.

"Oh, yeah...Yeah, I mean, I love books and I practically live here...This is like my second home..." Meredith murmured, smiling a little as some of her discomfiture dissipated.

"Me too! How come I have never seen you before?" the guy asked, sounding surprised.

"I dunno...I mean, I have never seen you before either...Maybe you just weren't noticing..." Meredith replied nervously. What had got into her? She never chatted with random guys. Then, why was she engaging in a conversation with a complete stranger?

"Believe me, I would have noticed you. It's kind of hard not to...notice you, I mean," the guy rejoined, causing Meredith to blush and look at him in surprise.

A faint tinge of pink infused Meredith's cheeks at the guy's compliment. No guy had ever complimented her like that before. Sure, a lot of guys tried to hit on her by saying that she was hot, but it had always been in a sexual way. Never, never in her life had a guy told her that she was beautiful.

"Oh, thanks," Meredith replied, the blush in her cheeks deepening when the guy gave her a charming, heart-melting smile.

"You deserve it..." the guy said as he took out the next book in the shelf, thus widening the gap that had been created between the books and allowing himself to look at Meredith properly.

"So...This is a good book, huh? You've read it?" Meredith asked, suddenly not wanting their confabulation to end.

"Yeah, I have..." the guy said as he took another book out of the shelf, widening the gap in the bookshelf further.

"That's – that's nice. I mean, most of the guys would probably rule this out as chick lit..." Meredith remarked knowingly.

"Most of the guys would. I am not most of the guys," the guy riposted with a smirk and then added, "I don't think books can be different for chicks and guys, or kids and adults. Books...they are books – they are our best and most loyal friends, irrespective of our age."

Meredith's mouth fell open slightly as she digested the guy's words. In her entire life, Meredith had never encountered another person who thought about books like that. She had thought that she was probably the only one in the entire world, or at least, the entire city, who loved reading all sorts of books and considered them her best friends. She had thought that she was the only one who loved books in such a way that age or gender was never a restriction for her. Her whole life, her father had pried books out of her hands, saying that they were for the grown-ups and that she was turning into a precocious brat. But, this guy, whom she had talked to for only a couple of minutes, this guy was more in sync with her than anyone had ever been in her entire life of 22 years.

"You – that's – yeah..." Meredith managed to murmur softly as her eyes stayed transfixed on the guy's sparkling blue orbs.

"Yeah..." the guy echoed as his lips widened into a soft, warm smile that made Meredith's heart skip a beat. The moment seemed everlasting as the duo stood gazing at each other through the gap in the bookshelf, time coming to a screeching halt around them.

Suddenly, Meredith's cell phone trilled in her pocket, starting Meredith out of her thoughts. Meredith snapped out of her daze and broke the gaze as she looked down to reach for the phone ringing inside the pocket of her jacket .The shrill tune of the phone pierced the quiet of the library and Meredith knew that she was going to get into trouble for not turning her phone off. She quickly found her phone and pressed the answer button without checking the caller id.

"Hello?" Meredith said a little breathlessly as she pressed the phone to her ear, and passed a quick glance towards the guy, only to find that he was placing the books back in the shelf and walking away.

"Meredith!" Lexie's voice came from the other end of the line. "Mer, I know that this is your reading time and I'm not supposed to disturb you right now, but it's urgent," Lexie rambled.

"What is it, Lex? I wasn't getting much reading done anyway," Meredith replied truthfully, her heart sinking heavily as she watched the guy's retreating figure.

"Uh – well – I came to Roseridge to visit her since you couldn't, and they told me that she passed out this morning. Her blood pressure was really low, and so, she has been admitted to Seattle Grace for treatment. I am driving up to the hospital right now, and I need you to come there fast," Lexie said in an urgent tone.

Meredith's heart stopped doing the weird flip-flops they had been doing and her head spun as she struggled to process Lexie's words. "What? She is in the hospital? Oh my God! I will be there in 20 minutes, Lex. I will get out of here now," Meredith said as she started walking back towards the table in long, quick strides.

"Okay. Drive safe. See you soon. Bye," Lexie said and disconnected the call.

Meredith quickly gathered the various books from the table and shoved some of them inside her bag in haste. Lifting the rest of the books in her arms, Meredith quickly made her way to the librarian's desk so that she could return the books and leave as soon as possible.

After returning the books, Meredith quickly made her way towards the exit of the library, but her steps came to a halt when she reached the door. Turning around slightly, Meredith's heart sank in the pit of her stomach as her eyes unconsciously searched for the guy but failed to spot him. Shaking her head, Meredith turned around and rushed out of the library, knowing deep inside that she was never going to meet the guy again.


A/N: So, is Meredith right? Is she never going to meet the guy again? And what was the phone call about? I know I left you guys hanging with a lot of questions, but I promise, things will start to add up soon.

I love receiving feedback and reviews from my readers, because that's the only form of acknowledgement I can get from writing fanfics. So please, review and let me know what you think. Leave your cheers, jeers, hate, dislike and love! :)

Cheers

DBI