Chills. Goose bumps. Whatever you want to call them, I had them. Everywhere. And they'd all been caused by a simple, platonic touch.

Too often I wondered if he felt the same way. If, buried somewhere beneath his layers of protection, he got the same elated feeling I got every time he entered a room. If, somewhere under his thick, impenetrable skin, his heart skipped a beat the way mine did every time he said my name.

But, that night, I wasn't wondering. I knew.

His fingers lingered on my forearm. He must have felt the goose bumps covering my skin. My stomach gave a nervous flip—my cover was blown, over something I couldn't even control. I could feel the blood rising to my face, and I turned away.

His eyes were burning the back of my skull, and the accursed bumps had still not disappeared, to my mortification. On the contrary, they were increasing and spreading every second his fingers remained on my skin.

Neither of us had said anything, but some unseen force made me turn my head back toward him. His lips were pursed, but he still hadn't moved. I looked down to where he touched me, and the back up to him.

Slowly, uncertainly, he placed a hand to my cheek. As opposed to before, his touch brought fire to my veins, and I had to turn away again.

Oddly, the silence then bothered me, much more than the awkward situation I was in. "Are you going to say anything?" I asked, a little impatience finding its way into my voice.

He contemplated his answer, his eyes boring into mine all the while. Then he smiled. "No."

And then his lips touched mine.

Every doubt I'd ever had was erased from my mind in the first second, and in the second I was wondering how long I could do this without breathing. By the third second I'd stopped thinking at all.

He placed his hand on my chest, and the same chills returned to my skin anew…

I wake, sweating. Trying to shake the images from my mind, I blearily wipe sleep from my eyes. The clock on my bed stand reads 3:34, and I know I won't close my eyes again before the morning.

With a sigh, I throw back the covers and swing my feet over the edge of the bed. I can still feel his fingers on my forearm and his lips on mine, and I contemplatively touch my fingers to my lips, wondering if maybe it wasn't a dream.

But it was more than a dream; it was a nightmare. I've dreamt that same scene eleven times in as many days, and each time I wake more haunted, because each time it feels more real.

What scares me more than the dream itself is that nothing set it off. It's not as if I just realized I'm in love with him—I've known for years. It's not as if he just told me he's getting married—as far as I know, he and Abigail still aren't speaking from the last time they argued. Nothing has happened to make me dream it, but I continue to fall into the same reverie every night.

An unexpected bout of anger rises in me. The amount of time I've spent sleepless over this is ridiculous, I decide. I lie back down and grab the blankets again, rolling over.

A frightening thought enters my head—what if he's hurt? Or depressed? Or…something? Could it be possible that these dreams are acting as a strange premonition? The last time we talked was… eight days ago, I realize with a frown. I sit up again, the idea too intense to sleep on. I want desperately to call him, to hear his voice, to make him ease my fears.

I glance again at the clock—3:41. I reach for the phone, then stop myself. I don't think he would appreciate a call this late at night.

Another sigh, and I toss the covers back and stand, annoyed. I miss the days when simplicity allowed me to sleep to my heart's content.

I pace—I can't help myself. As my feet fall into the familiar pattern I've worn these past nights, I can't help but wonder if I'll eventually wear through the floorboard. If it keeps up like it has been, there's no doubt in my mind.

I slowly come to the realization that, in truth, it's my fault I'm awake. If I would just tell him, I wouldn't have the what-if's attacking me.

But then I picture his face—it's angry, shocked, and even a little disappointed. I couldn't put that look there—wouldn't put that look there. I'm hurting, maybe, and that's why I can't sleep. But I can't cause him pain, and he'd want the same for me.

I sit down again, glaring at the clock that tells me it's only 3:53. I grab the book next to it and begin to read; it's going to be a long night.

Your fingertips across my skin

The palm trees swaying in the wind

Images…

I'd never want to see you unhappy

I thought you'd want the same for me

"Almost Lover" A Fine Frenzy

A/N: Angsty, just the way I like it. …review, please?