For the Odd Word Challenge by Indigo Seas on .

Osculation: the act of kissing; a kiss

Rowena wasn't sure quite where everything had all gone wrong. Well, she knew it had to be something to do with osculation. Everything that went wrong in her life had to do with osculation, although this was the first time it had been the word itself that was the problem.

When she was five, she'd seen her father kissing Lady DeVries in a secluded hallway, and there went her family life – or her notion of it, anyway.

When she was ten, her then-best friend, Leanna, had gotten her first kiss, and promptly dropped Rowena to chase boys. And there went her social life.

When she'd been fifteen, she refused to kiss her beau until they were betrothed (as he'd promised), and he had speedily transferred his attentions to Leanna. And there went her love life.

And now she was twenty, and she should have known better.

Osculation: Good word. One of her befuddlers. She could pull it out and no one would know what she was talking about. Rowena liked her befuddlers even more than her impressers. She used them when certain people wouldn't leave her alone.

Unfortunately, certain people happened to have a very good vocabulary.

Or, she supposed, he could have looked it up after she zinged Godric with it last week. Although he hadn't been in the room at the time…

(Godric's response, for those interested, had been "Is that related to copulation, by any chance?" which had caused her to turn red and Helga to hit him.)

But he had been bothering her. It was really unconscionable, causing – practically forcing – someone to fall in love with you was bad enough, but to constantly torment her by frequenting the library – and they all knew that it was her haunt – that was just fiendish!

It really was no wonder that she'd gotten fed up with him. He would come in and just stand there, or he'd browse through a shelf with frequent smirks aimed in her direction, and it was infuriating!

So, frustrated, she'd finally risen to her feet, slammed her book closed (and it was a large on, so the table shook) and said, "Look! Sod off!"

He'd just smirked even more widely and announced, "But I like the library."

Rowena's mouth had tightened and she'd groped for something to say. She wanted to threaten him, but she made it policy never to say anything that she couldn't make good on, and she needed him to leave, so in desperation, she'd spat, "Salazar, I swear to God, I am sorely tempted to osculate you!" Well, it was the truth.

She'd known she was in trouble as soon as she saw the grin spreading across his face that she was in trouble.

"Really?" he'd asked, voice dripping with innocence. "Is that a fact?"

Deciding to stand her ground, Rowena had lifted her chin and replied defiantly, "It is."

Salazar's smile had spread until he looked positively evil. "Well, then…" – it was only then that she realized that he'd been advancing on her and she hurriedly stepped away, trying not to get entangled in her chair – "it's quite fortuitous that you should say so."

Fortuitous? The alarm bells went off in her head. He actually used big words. Did he – damn, had he understood what she meant? Where had she gone wrong?

He was quite close to her now.

"You see," he continued, as she swallowed hard, "at this moment in time," Rowena's eyes went wide as he took hold of her shoulders, "I would be only too happy to oblige you."

And he did.

Rowena was quite sure, afterward, that she should have slapped him, but unfortunately it wasn't his first kiss, as evidenced by the fact that he knew exactly what he was doing. And it was just… difficult to think. Under the circumstances.

So she didn't slap him.

And now, things were decidedly… awkward.

She'd slap him next time. The only problem was, there probably wouldn't be a 'next time'.

Rowena shoved irritably at the side of her dictionary. It flipped open. She glanced down, annoyed, at 'bust'. Rolling her eyes, she started to close the book and then stopped. Directly above the entry she'd seen was 'buss: to kiss'.

She smiled.

He'd probably know what that meant, too.