The first snow comes early to Scranton. In the middle of November, she glances out the window to see big white flakes coming down. She smiles to herself because she's always loved snow and the way it makes everything beautiful.

This is the day he asks her out for the first time. He does it in the parking lot as they're walking to their cars. She almost slips on a bit of ice and he catches her, his hand gripping her arm firmly. She laughs and looks up at him. He has snow in his hair and on the shoulders of his coat and she leans forward on her toes and kisses him quickly. His mouth is warm in the cold of winter and this is the first time they've kissed or even been this close since that night back in May.

He looks surprised, but he smiles and holds her hand, watching her carefully to make sure she doesn't fall until they get to her car. As she's opening her door, he says, "Hey, have dinner with me on Friday."

She tries to focus on the words and not just the way his breath comes out like smoke and winds its way through the air. "Likeā€¦a date?"

He looks down at the ground for a second. "Yeah, like a date. Unless- I just thought that it had been enough time since you and Roy- You know."

"Yes." Maybe she sounds too eager, but with his cheeks and his nose turning red from the cold and the color of his eyes amidst all of this whiteness and how he reaches up to brush snow from her bangs- "Friday."


She wants to keep it quiet, their relationship. She says, "It's just with Roy still working there and you know how Kelly is-"

She tells him this as she's lying on his bed in her underwear staring up at the ceiling fan as it spins and he just barely manages to get out a simple, "Okay."


Normal, normal, normal.

Her skin hasn't touched his. She doesn't know what his blue shirt looks like unbuttoned and halfway off of his shoulders. He didn't watch her get dressed this morning. She doesn't know what his jaw feels like beneath her fingers.


Her cheeks burn. She shifts in her seat a little. Then ten or so feet between them has become something entirely different. Somehow it seems even more like a mote now than before. He doesn't come over to her desk. It's too risky. It's better if they keep their interaction minimal.

Then he drops his pencil.

And she's remembering his forearms as he was hovering over her in his bed, the way they looked on either side of her as he held himself up to study her face. And now she's remembering his eyes and the way they had looked down at her then. And now it's his mouth and his tongue and his-



She leans against the kitchen counter, bouncing her tea bag in and out of the hot water. She's pulled the blinds on the door shut so she can't see him for a minute. So she can pull herself together and not think about how good he is at undressing her.

She used to just think about what it would be like. She used to just carefully speculate on what sort of boyfriend he would be. How things would change if she weren't with Roy, if she had never been with Roy and met him. How he would ask her out and how she would flirt with him. How he would hold her hand as they walked into the office together.

Now she doesn't speculate. Now she thinks about skin and things he's whispered into her ear. Now she thinks about how he's perfected the combination of love and want.

She hears the clatter of the blinds as someone opens the door.

Skin. Whispering. Love. Want. Want. Want-

Normal. Normal.

She's blocking the coffee pot with her body and when he leans in to reach for it, he kisses her instead. Kisses her softly at first and then hard because he isn't sure how long this window will be open for. He knows he's pressing her back into the counter maybe a little too hard, but she doesn't protest. No, her hands are on his chest and he's cupping her face. Her hands move and now her fingertips are pulling on his belt loops, tugging and twisting and bringing him closer to her. And then-

"Oh, my God! You guys! Why didn't you tell me!"