FIRST LOVE

Piper Halliwell's First Love

By Catheryne@leopiper.cjb.net

She watched the way his luscious lips formed every word, and her gaze followed those magnificent red pair as they closed over the blue plastic straw to sip at his Coke. Rick Brennan. Piper sighed. Quarterback and the most popular guy in school. One would think he'd have no time to spare for her, but Rick has been her friend since grade school and he didn't seem to think that she was weird, the way the other kids thought.

"She's getting more beautiful everyday," he was saying. And for the moment there, halfway through her cheesecake, she could pretend he was talking about her. That was the only hitch with Rick. He kept droning on and on and on about Prue. What's so good about Prue anyway? Piper bet even she would settle down before Prue. "Do you think she'll want to go out with me sometime? Piper!"

Piper snapped back into attention and met those piercing green eyes. For a moment, she was fascinated by how well they reflected her image. If she squinted, she could see her glasses perfectly in their depths.

"Piper, do you need to have your eyes checked at the clinic? 'Coz you're squinting."

Her focus suddenly shifted from the center of his eyes to his face, and she was caught in a mini dizzy spell. "Uuumm no. I was just thinking."

Rick chuckled. "Nice thinking strategy. You almost scared me."

"Silly," she said, grinning. "And I think Prue would be lucky to go on a date with you. You're the most perfect guy on campus!"

Rick blushed, and Piper wanted to pepper his cuteness with kisses. "Shucks, Pipe! Thanks."

"No problem," she shrugged. "I'm just very honest. There she is now." Piper pointed at the cheerleader's table, where Andy and Prue were standing. "Go ahead and see if she's smart enough to say yes." Piper smiled in encouragement. Halfway through the cafeteria, Rick looked back at her, and Piper waved him on.

As Piper watched Rick laugh with Prue at the cheerleaders' table, the smile in her eyes faded. She pushed her cake away and grabbed her knapsack. She exited the cafeteria and muttered, "Damn tears stop it! I can't see!!" Her legs carried her farther and farther away from that place until she found a secluded tree to sit under. She hugged her knees and bent her head, shoulders shaking with silent sobs.

A few minutes later, when she had let all the pain out, she wiped at her eyes with the sleeve of her blouse and was surprised to see the pair of sneakers right in front of her. Slowly, her eyes rose to meet concerned green eyes. "Hey, Rick! How'd you find me? Sorry 'bout this," she pointed to her face. "Sand in my eye."

Rick grinned and knelt down in front of her. "You okay now?"

"Yeah. So how did it go?"

"It went as perfectly as it could," he replied.

"Oh! So when are you and Prue going out?" Piper tried so hard to keep the pain from surfacing. "I'm so happy for you, Rick."

"Well," Rick began, sitting cross-legged before her, "I'm not going out with Prue."

"But you said—"

"I found out everything I wanted to find out, Piper." Piper looked at him, puzzled. "Why didn't you tell me? You made me so insecure."

"What are you talking about?"

"Always pushing me to your sister when deep inside you're hurting yourself. Can't you believe that maybe I love you too?"

Piper's brows slammed together. "Is this some sort of joke you and your popular friends are pulling on me?" she demanded.

"You really think I'd stoop that low?" Slowly, Piper shook her head. "You think I'd hurt my best friend like that?" She shook her head again, this time out of sheer disbelief. "Oh you better believe it, because I've spent the last several months trying to decide if I should tell you, and I had to ask for your sister's help to make sure."

"Tell me what?" she asked breathlessly.

Rick took her off glasses and moved closer to her. "That I've been in love with my best friend for a very long time." Piper caught her breath. "Better bel—"

"Oh I believe!" She flung her arms around him and held tight. And then they burst into laughter until in their embrace they collapsed on the grass. "I love you too, Rick. And the groupies are going to kill me."

"Just they try. No one touches my girlfriend," he assured her. And then he blushed prettily. "I have a question to ask you."

"You never had to have permission before," she teased him. "Ask away. I'm still the old Piper, Rick."

Rick swallowed the lump in his throat. "Ummm… well… am I allowed to kiss you now?"

Piper broke into a huge smile. "I thought this moment will never come!" she exclaimed. And then she pursed her lips and closed her eyes, leaning closer, and closer, and closer to smack at those luscious red lips that still tasted of cheesecake and Coke.

The End