I don't consider this a waste of time that could have been used updating OiH, since you'll probably like it a lot. I still intend to update OiH soon, so by all that is holy, calm down and enjoy what you're provided with (a Zelink oneshot to warm you right up, that is).

I actually consider this to be the summum of what I can achieve after a whole other year of writing improvements. I'm proud of myself, though I acknowledge that by this time next year, this will be (hopefully) antiquated. Still, a good way to polish off the Year 2006 it remains.

2006 was an interesting year for me, starting off with Happily Ever After and Above the Tide in January, closely followed by Shades of Deception, then two months of Privateer, cut by There Was and Freak, and Straight Shooter right before a month-long trip to France in June/July that would inspire my most popular piece of work yet, Only in Hyrule, which broke all my previous records before it reached its fifteenth chapter.

All in all, a productive, varied and plentiful year. It seemed only fair to show you what I've managed to reach as a writer thanks to your continuous support. I'm looking forward to another couple of years onsite, so don't think this is the end. :)

Much love,

1. adj. marked by active interest and enthusiasm. 2. adj. ardently or excessively desirous.

When the phone rang for the first time, the faucet was turned off and a towel was tugged from its holder. It was being lifted up when the phone rang a second time. All motion inside the small bathroom stilled. Steam floated and warmed up the already heated air, fogging up the mirror.

Immediately later, a stampede of footsteps knocked the door open. A rush of cool air hit the body and was met with a hiss and a shiver. Nevertheless, the run didn't stop.

The phone rang another two times before it was snatched off its hook.

"Hullo?" Link Forester breathed, cradling the phone between his cheek and his shoulder, trying desperately to tie the towel around his waist. Behind him, the radio blared insanities. He reached out blindly to turn it off, but instead knocked it off its end table. He let out a curse under his breath.

As he bent to pick the still blaring radio and tune the sound out, a gentle voice asked, "Hey, Link? Are you alright?"

"I'm fine." This was said with a breathless huff as he straightened up again and unplugged the radio. "Zelda?"

He could practically hear her smiling when she said, "No. I'm the sex shop lady calling to tell you your order finally arrived."

He smiled and, playing along, jokingly said, "That's nice. Last time I called, you were a fifty year-old woman. It's amazing what surgery can do nowadays. So my 'exotic' collection is there at last?"

She laughed, the sound muffled by the line. "What? You didn't order the five hour special?"

"You said that was a bonus!"

"I can't believe you have kinky needs only sex shops can satisfy." Her tone was wry, reprimanding and mostly good-humoured.

He smiled, heading back to his bedroom with the phone. "What can I say? Guys like me have the sickest minds. Hey, give me a sec, I have to find some pants."

"Oh gods. Please do."

He smirked, entering his bedroom while still holding the towel around his waist. The water was cooling off his skin uncomfortably and he wanted to get dry as fast as possible. Plus, the heating was failing him again.

"Since you can't stand the thought of me naked, I'll just have to obey your command. Wouldn't want you getting all hot and flustered, would we?"

He found a pair of jeans that had been kicked halfway under his bed. In a feat of contortions and tugs, he managed to pull it on while still keeping the phone to his ear. He couldn't help the few grunts that came with the effort.

"Sounds tedious," Zelda flatly commented when he finally fell backwards on his bed and zipped his fly.

"It is, I assure you," he responded. Once he was sure that his pants were well adjusted, he sat up and stood.

"Perhaps I can be so bold as to enquire about the 'why' of your nakedness?"

This caused Link to slow down on his walk towards his kitchen. He smirked. "Why, Zelda, dost my ears deceive me or are you jealous of my shower head?"

"No need to hallucinate, sweetie." Her answer was as swift as his teasing. "I was just making sure I wasn't interrupting one of your famed one-night-stands."

He couldn't resist the comment. "Darling, as long as at least one of my hands is intact, I will never have a boring night."

He could visualize her disgusted scowl. "Link, that was unnecessary."

Rather than dignify her with a self-absorbed response, he asked, even as he entered his kitchen and contemplated his late-night supper, "May I inquire as to the 'why' of your calling me?"

This sent the line into an embarrassed silence. He opened his fridge, quite accustomed to the wait, and searched for something edible. Unfortunately for him, the only goods he could still consume without endangering his health were the bottle of mustard and the four cans of beer in his fridge door.

There was a mumble on the line, timed with him kicking his fridge closed. "I'm sorry," he smiled, "but I have no idea what you just said and you'll have to embarrass yourself further by repeating it louder and clearer."

"Do you have plans tonight?"

He glanced at his clock, then rolled his eyes. "Zelda, it's seven-thirty and I haven't had supper yet. By the looks of things I'll either have to look for a presentable food joint or hunt the meat myself. Neither option appeals to me. If your question implies I'm going to get good food if I respond by the negative, tell me at once."

"You could have just asked me to dinner, you know." Her tone was flat, but he could hear she was dissimulating her amusement.

"Ah, but I'm not the one doing the asking."

"Fine." She sounded a bit annoyed. "Look, I'll be blunt with you. It's Midwinter's eve and my family is out of the country. My friends are all at their own parties with their boyfriends and their own families and I didn't want to be the third wheel again. So I turned them down. Now I'm alone and I don't want to sound like I'm a sob-story, but… Do you have plans for tonight, yes or no?"


"I have leftovers."

He glanced at his fridge and his stomach rumbled. With a grin, he said, "I'm game. What's the match plan?"

"I want to watch Willow Hall, starring Nabooru Spirit."

He racked his brain for information. Then, "Wait a minute. Isn't that a chick flick?"

"Yes." Her tone was eloquently asking him in what way this was a problem. He swore she was clueless sometimes.

"Zelda. I'm a guy. Guys don't watch chick flicks."

She snorted. "Please. You endured Yours Truly when it came out and I broke up with Marth."

He smiled darkly at the memory, blessing the day for the umpteenth time. "That was different. Someone had to make sure you wouldn't overdose on the caramel ice cream."

"Right," she mumbled. "So you're saying no? I'll dangle the promise of food before you until you break in and say you'll come over anyway."

"Don't waste your breath; I'm in. My heater's broken again, so the temperature in here averages the freezing point, and I have no food in my fridge. And even if I did, no one re-heats leftovers the way you do." He laughed, teasing. "The way you slip those plastic containers into your microwave is the hungry man's wet dream."

"Right," she said again. "Say, Link, have you been consuming illegal substances lately?"

"Nope." He answered evenly and uncaringly. "I never have. Why?"

"Just asking." There was a silence. "Are you coming over?"

He rolled his eyes. "Yes. Allow me to open the window and jump out the fifth floor so I can reach the street faster. Without putting a shirt on first."

"Well excuse me for thinking you'd actually be eager."

"There's eager and there's insane. Hey, what happened to my Dark Realm episodes? I can't find the box anywhere. Do you still have them?"

Her voice was a bit distant. "Hm, yep. I still have them. Why? You miss them?"

"Hello, you're talking to Nerdy McGeek," he joked. "Obviously I miss my cult sci-fi episodes, especially the one with the hot man-eating alien chick who turns out to be a spy." He was contemplative for a moment. "You know, we should watch a couple of episodes tonight."

"I'll watch your geek shows only if you watch Willow Hall."

"Will you feed me with your fingers as I lay with my head in your lap?"


"Will you feed me with your fingers?"

"Try again."


She let out an annoyed huff. "Sorry, but if you slobber over my Zora manicure I'll commit an unnecessarily violent act."

"Will it involve handcuffs?"

"What?" She sounded genuinely confused. "No. I promised murder, not― Link, you sick bastard!"

"Ah," he joked, faking disappointment, "and here I thought you'd want to be thorough."

"If you're not here in the next twenty minutes, I am locking my front door," she sternly warned him.

He was there in less than ten.

"Oh," she said as she opened the door, "love the shirt." Warmth and the scent of food made his stomach grumble and he realised just how cold he'd been.

He looked down at himself. His black National Cuckoo Gliding Competition t-shirt, under his unbuttoned coat, had faded and was stained in some places by spots of blue paint.

He looked back up at her. She wore clean jeans and a button down shirt. Her long blonde hair was pulled up into a bun, though some strands fell out tantalizingly. Her clear blue eyes were full of humour and her pink lips were pinched into a barely repressed smile.

"Give me a break," he said, ignoring the knot in his throat. "It's laundry day."

She raised a thin, dark blonde brow. "It always is."

But she let him in anyway, and immediately, he felt the warmth of her apartment make his frozen fingers tingle back to life. He shuddered a little but felt relief.

Before he could shrug his coat off completely, Zelda had taken it between her fingers and was frowning.

"You really should buy something warmer," she said. "We're in the dead of winter."

"I'm fine," he assured her, and she shot him a pained look.


He opened the sliding door of her cupboard and slipped his coat on a green hanger, which she'd bought especially for him. "Zelda, in all the years we've known each other, you never commented on my apparel choices."

"Maybe not," she said, leaning against her wall and watching him as he shook frost from his unruly dark blonde hair, "but I do recall worrying for your health before."

He couldn't help a tiny smile at this. "I guess. But I can't afford a new coat. Student loans, remember?" She observed him with concern and a little bit of sadness. Before she could utter another sound, he raised his hand in warning and said, "Don't you dare offer to buy me one. I can't accept that. You already feed me half of the time, I won't leech anymore off you."

She smiled. "But I like feeding you." She looked back in the direction of her kitchen and mumbled, "I like having someone to share it with. Makes the shortened days seem brighter."

"Hn," he monosyllabically agreed. "The sun sets way too early in the winter."

"Doesn't it, though?" She said, turning back to furrow an interested brow at him and smile a funny smile. "The news people said it set around 4:15 PM today. I couldn't believe it."

He was about to add something to their small talk, but then fell silent and examined her critically. She already had a tiny smile curling the corner of her lips, like some sort of elfish mischief had taken her over. He couldn't help but be amused as well.

"Are we seriously talking about the sunset time?" He asked, if only to drive home how ridiculous they were.

"Well," she said simply, "it's an important subject. The absence of light can have devastating effects on one's mood, hence luminotherapy." There was a pause. He stared at her with a handsome smile playing on his face. She withstood it for a while, until she finally broke down and offered, "Food?"

He licked his lips gleefully. "Please?"

"What would I do without your stomach, Link?" She asked, pulling the microwave door open and pulling out a leftover container that smelled like heaven to his empty and starving stomach. Zelda had a knack for making exquisite food. Just the smell of it had him drooling. "You're like my walking-talking garbage can."

"Your actual garbage can," he said, opening one of her kitchen drawers and pulling out a fork with a knife, then returning to her table, where she'd set a beer can and a place mat, "doesn't know what it's missing." He noticed the beer as he sat. "Oh? I didn't know you drink."

She rolled her eyes. "I don't. It's all for you."

"Seriously?" He would say he was touched, but he'd just taken his first bite and had lost track of anything remotely intellectual. "Gods," he grunted in a half-sigh, closing his eyes with gratitude, "we should get married if it means I'll get this kind of alimentary orgasm every night."

He hadn't meant for the sexual term to enter the conversation, but it was unlikely she'd get the undertone. Hopefully.

She sat across from him and stared at him with some surprise and an involuntary blush. He didn't notice, since he was busy stuffing the food down his throat like he hadn't eaten in months. "Oh? You'd marry me for my cooking alone?"

He looked up at her and noticed that her blouse gaped just a little more than usual over her chest. The milky skin of her breast curved and vanished from sight, probably cupped by one of her silky, lacy bras. Heat seeped into his gut, but he resolutely ignored it, returning his attention to satisfying his stomach. "Of course not," he said. "You have a real talent for cleaning, too."

"Bastard," she said, though it registered that he was just teasing her.

"I can already picture it," he said, lifting his eyes as he spoke with his mouth half-full. "You, Mrs. Forester, would come home early and make one of your amazing pot-roasts, which I, Mr. Forester, would later salivate over. I'd then thank you with a long, very satisfying romp in the bedroom which would result in two or three more food enthusiasts."

"You've got this figured out," she joked, unable to find the idea unappealing.

"Anything to get more of this ―what is this anyway? Quiche?"

She rolled her eyes. "With ham, yes."

He nodded with extreme satisfaction. "Right. I'm willing to give away some of my bedroom prowess if you'll keep making this kind of food."

" 'Give away some of your bedroom prowess'?" she repeated in stupefaction and incredulity. "How generous." He didn't miss her sarcasm. "Though considering that we aren't dating and that I'm currently head-over-heels in love with the guy from the convenience store―"

He looked up at her sharply. "The one with the glasses and the nose stud?"

She smiled. "Hm-hm. He's sexy."

"He looks like a loser to me," he commented, taking another bite of ham.

"That's because you're a guy," she said, probably aware of how territorial Link tended to be with his friends. "You wouldn't understand what that guy's sexiness is due to."

"Really not," Link commented. "If it's about the piercing, I have some too." He lifted a finger to tap his double earrings then took a decisive bite of quiche.

"You know he gave me a discount on milk?" She said dreamily. "I thanked him and got to know his name."

"And what was his name?" He sounded carefully detached, but she felt something simmering under his calm demeanour. "Brad? Josh? Gunter?"

She laughed. "Nope. Shad. He's got the intellectual look thing down pat, in spite of the nose stud."

Link snorted. "Now I know who to kill."

"Oh, don't be so violent," she teased. "Besides, I'm sure you'd look gorgeous with glasses."

"Why bother? It's not my fault my vision is a twenty-twenty," he commented, finishing his plate off with a satisfied sigh. "I guess you'll have to settle for my abs."

"Or for Shad."

He raised his eyes and glared at her. "Are you doing this on purpose or something?"

She stood and took his plate, even as he protested and stood, carrying the utensils to the sink with her. Zelda was washing off the crumbs of food that had remained, and he rinsed the fork and knife. Warmth enveloped them, comforting the two without their noticing it. Zelda stepped aside and let Link do the dishes, as he always insisted to thank her. She leaned against the counter and watched his careful hands. "You know I wouldn't want to upset you, Link. But we're just friends and I also want a boyfriend."

He snorted, feeling something painful coil inside. "And a convenience store employee is obviously the best solution."

"Oh," she crinkled her nose cutely, "you're concerned for my happiness?"

"Maybe." And he then flicked water at her.

She squeaked. She always did.

"Hah," she hooted upon recovery, "Think I didn't notice how you're going soft? Maybe I shouldn't treat you so well. You're becoming a weakling."

"Weakling?" He raised a hand full of soapsuds to his chest, insulted. "I'm not the one asking his friends for company on Midwinter's Eve."

She sobered up suddenly then looked chastened. "Right." She glanced up at him with discernable gratitude in her sheepish eyes. "You know, I don't mean to sound cruel or insensitive, but I'm really glad that you don't have a known family right now."

He felt something prickle between his shoulder blades. "Why?" The question was careful and guarded.

"If you had a family, you'd be spending tonight with them, and I'd be―"

"Celebrating with me."

She examined his profile. He'd turned the faucet off and was examining the pearls of water trickling down in the sink.

"I'd have invited you, family or not," he said. "But I guess I assumed you'd have other things to do tonight. That's why I didn't suggest anything." He grinned, but she felt something flickering behind his blue eyes. "I kind of supposed you would prefer a big party rather than some loner's company."

She shook her head stubbornly. "You're not a loner. It's not your fault you're an orphan." He smiled a little, and she added, "By the way, if you had asked me, I'd have gone with you wherever."

He felt something warm curl up within him, comfortingly, but couldn't resist some teasing, "Wherever, like, anywhere?" He couldn't help smirking ominously, and she knew exactly what to expect.

She flicked his forehead, somewhat exasperated. "Except to whatever sick setting your twisted imagination can come up with."

He raised three fingers and said, enthusiastically, "It's actually quite simple: You. Bed. Naked."

"That's exactly what I was talking about when I said twisted." She rolled her eyes and left his side to go into her living room. She had a big television, the kind he wanted to own one day, he remembered absently. He put the dishes away and thought about how his previous suggestion would likely help with his increasingly desperate need for a woman's comfort.

As if his subconscious hadn't been hinting at this for a few nights now anyway. Last night, for instance, he'd dreamed that she had bought a skimpy negligee and wanted to know his humble opinion. His humble opinion had still been straining against his boxers when he'd woken up.

"No," he breathed to himself. "Don't go there." Whether he was talking to himself or to his pants wasn't clear even to him, but it didn't matter.

"Oh my gods!" He suddenly heard her gasp in mild horror from the other room. He immediately stopped what he was doing and hurried into the other room. She was staring at something unseen on the floor, and he circled the couch to reach her side.

"What is it?" And even as he asked the question, he saw what had creeped her out.

A tiny spider, and it wasn't bigger than his pinkie's nail, too. He rolled his eyes, which didn't go unnoticed.

Instead of defending herself, though her cheeks did flush prettily, she said, "Do something."

He squatted in front of the spider, which had stopped moving completely and seemed to contemplate the meaning of life in Zelda's living room corner. He sighed. The spider didn't even twitch.

Last time a spider had dared bother Zelda, she'd called him over from his apartment at 11:30 at night. He wouldn't have minded if she hadn't been dressed, upon opening the door, in a short nightgown that haunted him on the trudge back to his apartment, filling his mind with lewd thoughts. Ultimately the evening had become a sleepless night because of a painful…

There was something about Zelda's sleepwear that turned him into a horny teenager and he hated it.

"This is sad," he mumbled softly in annoyance to snap out of it before the direction of his thoughts became too evident.

Zelda, though, seemed to assume he was talking about her aversion for arachnids, and responded with a warning, "Respect my fears." She glanced at the spider worriedly. "Do you want something to catch it with?"

"A paper tissue would do fine," he said, not even looking up at her, eyes still trained on the tiny critter.

She handed him a whole box. He couldn't help an amused smile. She could be so cute sometimes.

The spider was dealt with. He wasn't the kind to capture them then release them into the wild or anything. He just killed them fast, without toying around. At this time of year it was impossible for them to survive outside anyway.

Zelda seemed visibly relieved when he returned, spider-less, into the living room. "Thank you so much," she breathed. "Frankly, as long as you keep my apartment void of creepy eight-legged monsters, I'm willing to satisfy your hunger for supper."

He snorted, mostly because this was already their unspoken deal, and because it was amusing how innocent she sounded when she mentioned his hunger. If only she knew. She could, he absently considered, probably satisfy every single one of his needs if they were more than what they were.

He smirked at the thought that she probably didn't feed Shad, the convenience store employee.


He snapped out of his satisfied daze when he noticed that she was bending in front of her digital videodisk player and had called his name.

Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Those jeans were too snug on her backside for his comfort. And to think he was sane just an hour ago. He probably wouldn't be sleeping soundly tonight, all because of that round, perfect―

"Link, I said, could you hand me the movie disk, please, or are you going to keep staring at my butt until we die of old age?"

He didn't miss her amusement, and he couldn't help a slightly dazed smirk. "I'm sorry," he said, not moving an inch. "Do you mind? I'm trying to etch this image into my libidinous mind."

"You're aware," she flatly said, "that you're being libidinous with me, Zelda Harkinian, your best friend, and not some random girl you met at a bar for a one-night-stand, right?"

He averted his eyes, feeling much hotter than he knew he had a right to be. "Of course. But you have to admit you have a nice backside." He didn't wait for her to glare. "Here." He bent forward and handed her the disk, under her guarded gaze.

Their fingers brushed.

"So I was told," she said, moving away faster than she should have, in his opinion, and he made the mental choice to tone it down. They were just friends, as she'd stated painfully enough already. "But I'd like it if you treated me different from other girls."

"I do treat you different," he said, examining her nimble hands as they slipped the disk in the slot and searched for the remote. "I actually care for you."

She let her guard back down and smiled softly at him. "Thanks." She stood and pushed him softly, indicating for him to seat himself. He slumped into the couch with a groan, and she wasted no time in sitting beside him.

"Do we have to watch this movie?"

"Yes." She glanced at him in exasperation. "I thought you liked Nabooru Spirit as an actress."

He raised his eyebrows and smirked mildly. "Well, she does have a nice set of―"

"Oh, just shut up."

He passed a warm arm around her shoulders and, ignoring the smell of her conditioner ―apples and vanilla―, said, "Chill, I'm kidding. But, just so you know, I'll bear a grudge against you until you make it up to me."

"You don't have to stay," she pouted, slightly miffed. "But I'd rather you suck it up like a man and endure my girl cravings."

He ignored the double-entendre, because he didn't want her to know he'd do anything for her girl cravings.

Gods. His mind was being disloyal to him. He couldn't help but look annoyed.

"Oh, will you stop with that face? I told you, you don't have to stay if it's such a tedious task."

Great. "What's the movie about anyway?"

She glanced at the disk case and said, "Nabooru Spirit plays the role of a woman who becomes a housekeeper for a reclusive, wealthy and cruel man ―who happens to be very hot― and slowly falls in love with him."

"Ugh. Shoot me now."

She couldn't help a smile and slapped his arm. "Stop that. You know you like chick flicks more than you let on."

"I fear to know where you got that particular misconception," he said, "but I'll withstand it like a man. Don't ask me to remember all about it tomorrow morning, though. I'll make extensive use of my selective memory."


He shrugged, and let her have her way. She saw his surrender and took full advantage of it by curling up against him cutely. They often did it for warmth, and because it comforted them. He sometimes complained about it, but he never pushed her away, often hugging her closer. Truth was that he loved how she was possessive of him.

The movie wasn't even halfway through when he heard her ask, calmly, "Do you actually think my butt is nice?"

This was when he realised he was treading thin ice. Warnings of every shape and size started going off in his head, telling him that discussing a woman's butt was a touchy subject, especially when the woman in question was your love interest and didn't even know it.

It also registered that, in spite of the warnings and common sense, he was in deep manure.

So he replied with a safe and careful, "Sure. I'm a guy like any other, and I can appreciate…" He had to trail off, because he noticed her flat look, which she pinned him with once she shifted enough to turn her head in his direction, and saw that the message was clear: 'No beating around the bush, unless you want to suffer mounds of pain.'

With a defeated sigh, he said, "You're hot."

At this, the corners of her lips twitched upward. "You mean you're attracted to me."

Seriously. She was on to him. How else could it have gone? He'd been an awful liar tonight, and he was beginning to regret it. He was beginning to regret his overt sexual and interested comments. She was on to him and he had nowhere to back up to.

He tried to memorize the feel of her in the crook of his arm and the weight of her warm form against his side, confident that it would be the last time he'd ever feel them.

Time for the plunge, he thought.

"Gods," he said with sarcasm, his last resort, far more tense than usual as he prepared himself for the finishing blow and her rejection, "You think? It's only been two years since I started loving you, so how could that possibly be??"

And suddenly, before she could open her mouth to reply, he felt something awful creep into his gut.


He lost his nerve and stood, leaving her warmth and already feeling frozen. He hesitated a brief second, wanting only to return to her heat, if only for a few seconds more, but then realised it was too late. He left the room, ready to grab his coat and make a run for it. Maybe she could forget this by tomorrow morning.

"Link?" Her voice was concerned, and with reason. He'd more or less declared himself and vanished before she could gather her wits.

He was feeling cold as he put his coat on. Hopefully he could fix his heater before he went to bed, because winter was chilling him to his very core, and he hadn't even left her apartment yet.


"I'm sorry," he said, feeling his stomach rise to his heart and his heart rise to his throat, "I just remembered about an exam I have in two days and I haven't started studying―"

"Link Forester, that is a barefaced lie and you will come back here at once."

He acknowledged her chilling voice, and before he could decide whether running or facing her was best, his feet had lead him back to the living room. She wasn't paying attention to the movie anymore and was staring at him in annoyance.

"Two things," she said, and when he opened his mouth to protest, she glared at him with more evil than he'd ever seen her use before. "One, ―don't interrupt me― I have wanted to kiss you all evening and see you naked more times than I can safely admit, which is why your admitting that you're attracted to me is more flattering than it should be. Two, ―don't you dare speak― I said, shut up― if you ever use that tone to declare your love to me again, I will punch you so hard you'll forget how to move."

Ah, Link considered with a part of his brain that hadn't shut down, she always was so very direct.

Still, the silence that followed her words was deafening and seemed to echo around them.

"Is there," he asked, in a slight daze, after a long pause and when it was clear that he could speak again without risking a thrashing, "any hope that you will not start dating the guy from the convenience store?"

"Is there any chance that you will remove all your clothes before the movie is over?"

He raised a brow, but felt elated. "Heck yes, on return of the favour."

"We have a deal," she said, stumbling over herself as she stood to reach him. The moment her hand touched his arm, he felt her warmth through his coat and it heated him up to the point where it was nearly unbearable.

She said, in a tone he'd never heard her use with him before, one that made him confident his very best fantasies had come to life all at once, "I'd like it if you stayed over tonight." So sultry. "Midwinter's Eve isn't supposed to be spent alone."

Something bubbled inside him.

"Dear Gods," he cried to the ceiling with relief and a certain amount of his usual humour, which was slowly coming back from his shock, "I will never doubt your holy powers again!"

Before he knew what was happening, she'd laughingly pulled his face back down towards her and their lips were locked. The warmth had turned to heat, and it was coursing from her lips into his mouth.

He'd never be warm again without her.

"Link," she whispered when he parted from her lips just long enough to take a breath before plunging again, "... I should pause the movie."

"It'll be fine," he whispered back, diving back for another mind-numbing kiss, to which, he was confident, he'd soon grow addicted.

"I believe," she said with a little bit of dazed humour, "that you're overeager."

"Overeager?" He gasped between kisses. She was so warm, so soft, so perfect. "I've been in love with you for two years and now that you finally love me back, you say I'm overeager?"

"I said," she insisted, her hand going down to his waistband, below which, they both knew, he'd lost all composure, "you're a tad overeager. Or do you beg to differ?"

"That's not overeager," he argued, ignoring her teasing. He kissed her again, and he shrugged his coat aside without looking at where it landed. He reached for his shirt's hem and pulled it over his head. He cast it somewhere behind him too, so that he stood shirtless before her. "This is."

She laughed. "I take it you accept my offer to stay overnight?"

He pulled back to examine her face. They stared at each other flatly for a seemingly long moment. His look was carefully guarded and he seemed to wait for her to explain what the catch was.

Breaking into a funny grin, she said, "I'm not going to make you sleep on the couch, if that's what you're about to ask me."

"Oh," he finally said, relaxing, "Good. You won't regret that choice."

"Hm." There was another long silence. "... I really should stop the movie," she mumbled, but she didn't move.

He waited for her to walk away, and when she didn't budge, he hooted, noticing where her eyes kept returning, "Oh, you like my abs, don't you?"

"Shut up."

"Hah! I knew you wanted me."

"I said shut up."

"You know, I don't blame you. I want myself too, sometimes."

"Link," she growled, pulling him forward for another brain killing kiss and tugging him in the direction of her bedroom, "Two words: Shut. Up."

"Sweet gods," he cried out with gratitude when she shoved him against the wall and started working at his belt, "Anything you say, gorgeous."

To which she couldn't help but laugh.

I'll let you conjure up the rest, you little fiends.

Happy New Years!

Lotsa love,

P.S. Shad (TP) is hot, in that geeky intellectual way. He's officially up there next to Kafei (MM), Sheik (OoT), Mikau (MM) and Ralph (OoA) in my book. Nothing you say will make me change my mind. :D