I wondered why Griffin was in such a rush. I hurried behind him, nearly jogging, as he dodged people on the sidewalk. I wasn't really sure where we were, but I couldn't find any hints of where we were going from Griffin's quick strides.

I continued to run behind Griffin, following his black jacket with my eyes so I wouldn't lose him and be alone in a city I didn't know.

After a few more seconds, he looked back and saw that I was lagging behind him. He slowed down a bit, and he gestured with his hand to move quicker.

"What's the hurry, sunshine?" I puffed, smiling slightly at him.

He shrugged and allowed me to reach his pace.

"You haven't called me that in a while."

I shrugged myself this time and took the opportunity to link onto his arm so he wouldn't start going quickly again.

"You still call me Barbie all the time," I pointed out.

"You'll always be Barbie."

"I'm going to dye my hair black," I mumbled.

He chuckled. We didn't speak much after that, but just walked as I let Griffin lead me wherever we were going. But our conversation had me thinking of when he first called me Barbie. And when we first met. And what a jerk he used to be. (Not that he's entirely better...but I'm working on it.) I let my mind drift back to when I first started to talk to him.

The sand was whipping behind me from my frantic movements. I tried not to close my eyes for fear of the burned image imprinted on my lids. I felt my hair flying and the wind passing me, but I still couldn't seem to get a proper breath of air.

I was jumping all over the place without really knowing what I was doing. I transported from a huge rock to another one, from a cactus to a small bush, from the end of one dune to another.

I collapsed after a few minutes, or hours, it was hard to tell which. I felt my stomach calm down a bit, but my hands were still shaking furiously. My mind was buzzing, but the thoughts were somehow more logical as I wiped my trembling fingers on my pants.

There was only one thing to do now.

I jumped again, but this time, it was on purpose.

Griffin's face was just how I'd imagined, with some mingled surprise, but mostly anger.

"Why are you back here?" he demanded, but I was in no mood for his attitude again.

"You're going to teach me how to fight them. And kill them." I said strongly, my chin held in the air as I stared right into his eyes. "And I won't take no for an answer."

"What makes you think I owe you something?" were the first words out of Griffin's mouth.

"You don't." I insisted. "But if you say no, I'll just come back tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day. And the-"

"Alright, alright! I'll teach you." He grumbled, cutting me off forcefully.

I allowed a satisfied, but somewhat bitter smile to spread across my face.

"That's all I ask."

"As soon as I'm done, you're out of here. No coming back." He demanded.

Obviously Griffin hadn't followed through on the last part. I smiled as I thought about it. If only I'd known at the time that the scowling jerk would become the one who drove me crazy in the best sort of way.

I slid my arm from his and instead reached my hand down to intertwine our fingers. He complied with me, letting me squeeze his hand slightly as we walked a few more minutes.

As we continued to walk, the crowds began to thin and the traffic flowed considerably smoother. I looked around again, soaking in the tall office buildings and concrete everywhere, knowing we could be in almost any city any where. Griffin suddenly stopped walking and I was jerked backward slightly, looking at him in confusion.

"Close your eyes," he demanded.

I made a face at him, pleading with my eyes.

"Do I have to?"

"I'll throw you over my shoulder if I have to," he threatened.

I sighed and closed my eyes, feeling Griffin's hand on my lower back. I shivered, even though it wasn't as cold here as New York was. He chuckled and pushed me forward. I walked cautiously, taking tentative steps.

"You can go quicker, I'm not going to lead you into traffic," Griffin said sarcastically.

"That would be a horrible birthday present," I hissed, not liking the fact that I couldn't see where I was going. "How much farther?"

"A bit," he responded, "Take a step downward, there's a street."

I made huge footsteps, inching forward with his help.

"I feel stupid. Is anyone looking at me?"

"Since when do you care what people think about you?"

I pondered this for a moment, eventually nodding.

"That's true. Pretty much never."

"Step up now."

I did as he said, and took a few more steps forward before Griffin spoke again.

"Okay, stop now, but don't open your eyes yet."

I sighed again.

"C'mon Griffy," I whined.

He growled lightly and I chuckled, still not opening my eyes.

Before I had a chance to ask another question, I felt the world moving from underneath my feet. I let out a squeal before I realized two arms were holding me.

"Relax. I just don't trust you not falling where I'm taking you."

Extremely curious, I had to force myself not to peek as Griffin carried me.

"You know, I like this service. You should definitely carry me around to more places," I commented.

"It's not too much fun for my side," Griffin commented gruffly.

I pouted, which probably looked interesting because I didn't even have my eyes opened, but Griffin cut me off anyway.

"Here we go."

I felt myself being lowered down and prepared to put my feet out but realized Griffin was placing me down to sit. I felt a chair, or something, underneath me and waited eagerly to see where I was.

"Okay, open your eyes."

My eyelids immediately flew open, and the first thing I saw was a steering wheel.

"A car!?"

I gasped and reached out, fingering the cool wheel. I looked around, seeing black leather interior, and looked over the side of my convertible...yes, convertible. It was bright red, shining in the sun as I continued to look excitedly around, catching a glimpse of my smile and Griffin's smug look in the rearview mirror.

"You got me a car?" I asked again, looking at Griffin with wide eyes.

"Everyone needs a good car," he told me.

I smiled and continued to look through everything, opening the glove compartment, adjusting the mirrors, running my fingers over the buttons on the radio. Griffin continued to watch me become acquainted with everything.

"You like it?" he finally asked.

"Of course! How could I not? It's amazing," I gushed, knowing that Griffin probably hadn't given a gift in a while, and wanting to make sure he knew I liked it.

"Good," Griffin grunted.

"There's just one small problem," I said with a sheepish grin.

"What?" Griffin asked quickly.

"I sort of can't drive?"

Griffin's jaw dropped. He looked at me incredulously, as if I just told him I'd never seen a human being before.

"What kind of nineteen year old can't drive?" he asked with wide eyes.

"The cool kind?" I responded.

"So what was the use of getting you a car?" he asked, seemingly to himself.

"You're going to teach me to drive," I said, smiling.

"What makes you think I'd want to?" he asked harshly, but I knew his eyes were twinkling with amusement.

"If you don't, I'll just ask you today. And the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and-"

"Alright, alright! I'll teach you," he said in surrender.

I smiled, thinking back to the memory I had vividly recalled earlier.

"That's all I ask."

Griffin, as if reading my mind, nodded.

"As soon as I'm done, you're out of here," Griffin said, echoing my thoughts.

I smiled.

"No way," I said, leaning over the side of the car and pulling him closer.

"No way," he echoed softly, and I pressed my lips against his.


I absolutely loved writing this story, so I hope you all liked reading it. 3