Author's Note: This is my first fic, so take it easy on me with the reviews! Obviously, these characters don't belong to me, though I wish Timmy did!!
A little background if you're interesting, the story takes place after Tim and Julie have both graduated from college; Julie attended Columbia and graduated in three years and Tim actually went to San Antonio State, graduated, and was drafted by the NY Giants.
Please, please review so I know whether or not to continue! Thanks for reading!
As the taxi ushered through the busy streets of Manhattan, Julie tried to concentrate on her task for the evening ahead. As one of the newest members of the writing staff at Cosmopolitan, she had been given what she felt was the unlucky assignment of attending a charity gala being thrown by the New York Giants to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House. Her task: find the sexiest new members of the team for a future article. Sometimes she loathed her job, and right now was one of those times. Though some of her coworkers were jealous of her assignment, and not afraid to admit it, Julie was dreading it. After coming of age in Dillon, Texas where football was king and everything else fell by the wayside, she had had enough of arrogant athletes during her teenage years to last her a lifetime.
After graduating from Dillon High, she made a firm decision to get out of Texas by way of Columbia University. She wanted museums, she wanted coffee shops, she wanted culture; and New York City seemed like just the place to provide it. College was expensive enough without the added high price of city living, so she finished in three years instead of the traditional four with a degree in journalism. Applications were sent across the city to every major magazine, but the only one willing to take a chance on a recently-graduated, Texas transplant was Cosmopolitan; something about cowboys and their sex appeal that she must have experienced and the possible stories she could bring to the magazine. Yeah, right. It wasn't her dream job, that was for sure, but it was a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
After paying the driver who had driven her from her studio apartment in Brooklyn to the fancy Upper East Side hotel where the gala was being held, she gathered her clutch, took a deep breath, exited the taxi, and made her way into the building. Clearing security, she entered the ballroom and made her way to where other members of the media had set up shop. Taking a seat at the large table next to two other women, she found herself immediately drawn to their conversation. Apparently, the team had recently acquired a new fullback in last month's draft who was "absolutely breathtaking" according to the redhead closest to her.
Casually shifting her eyes to where the other two pairs had settled, a sharp intake of breath followed her realization of who they were talking about.
Mouth agape, she found herself staring at none other than Tim Riggins.
"Isn't he divine?" the brunette asked, leaning over into Julie's earshot. She could only nod in agreement, too shocked to form real words. "Uh huh," she finally managed to squeak out in agreement.
If it was possible, Tim had become even more beautiful than he was in Dillon; four years of life had treated him well. Of course, in high school she would never admit his good looks; she preferred to allow her best friend back then, Lois, to do all of the drooling. Vague memories of her father mentioning his acquisition by the Giants in last month's draft flooded her thoughts.
"He's mine," the redhead announced, quickly jumping from the table and rushing over to where Tim was standing with a few other members of the team. Julie rolled her eyes. Probably, she surmised, that girl was a rally girl in her high school days.
Cringing at the girls obvious sluttiness, she gratefully accepted the flute of champagne being offered by the passing waiter. Courage would be needed tonight and what do you know, it was being passed around her in liquid form.
Returning her attention to where the redhead was shamelessly trying to draw Tim away from his teammates, she smirked at the girl's lack of success. It appeared, however, that she was going to make one last ditch effort before returning in defeat. As she pointed in the direction of where Julie and the brunette, now completely engrossed by something on her iPhone, were sitting, Tim casually shifted his gaze to follow her finger. His lips fell into a smirk when his eyes settled on Julie.
After signaling to his teammates and obnoxious admirer that he would return shortly, he took long, quick strides in her direction with the redhead trailing behind like a puppy.
"Julie Taylor?" he asked, taking the seat previously occupied by the redhead; she stood behind him and pouted, arms folded across her chest before finally accepting defeat and bouncing off to find a slightly less attractive player to take home.
Julie nodded. "Hey Tim," she smiled awkwardly. Inwardly she chided herself for focusing on school instead of boys during college, thus limiting her experience with men to the awkwardness that was Matt Saracen in high school.
"You look nice," he commented.
"You too," she responded with a shy smile. And look good, he did. Maybe, she concluded, better than he had in the past. His hair, always longer than the average male's, was brushed out of his face for once, allowing her to admire the smile lines that had pleasantly formed around his eyes. The formal wear outfitting his body wasn't a look she was accustomed to on her father's former fullback, but it was nothing to complain about. In fact, it was something she could get used to.
"So, what brings you here?" he broke her thoughts.
"Work," she said plainly. His brows furrowed in confusion.
"I work for a magazine," she explained, careful to avoid which one. She knew that the admittance of which publication she worked for would ultimately result in crude jokes.
"Oh, like Sports Illustrated or somethin'?" he asked with excitement.
She cringed. "Not quite. Um, Cosmopolitan," she mumbled the last word, hoping he wouldn't care too much to clarify.
Leaning back in his chair, he laughed loudly at her confession. Apparently, the mumbling didn't work. "The chick magazine?" he asked once he had calmed himself.
She nodded, shame clear on her face. "I'm, uh, supposed to be scouting the team for feature articles," she explained.
"Feature articles, huh?" he rubbed his chin in thought. "Like, preferred sex positions?" he continued with a twinkle in his eye. Same Tim Riggins, she thought.
"Shut up, Tim," she swatted him gently in the arm. He feigned being hurt while she continued. "It's just a job until I can find a better one at somewhere with more meaning," she explained.
"Oh, like InStyle?" he joked.
She rolled her eyes then frowned.
"Riggins, we need you over here," a voice announced from across the room.
"Well, duty calls," he stood. "Maybe I'll catch ya later?" he asked before striding away.
Later that evening, Julie found herself accompanied only by the slight champagne buzz that had taken residence inside of her as the other two that had been with her at the table before found other, much less attractive than Tim, players to canoodle with for the evening. As the dance floor slowly filled with couples, she chose to check the e-mails that had accumulated on her Blackberry since she had arrived.
"Fancy," a familiar voice drawled from behind her. Tim, of course.
"This old thing?" she joked. He chuckled and, once again, took the seat next to her.
"I can't stand these things," he commented a few minutes later.
She nodded. "Yeah, they don't really seem like your scene," she responded while placing her phone back into her clutch that was barely big enough to hold it.
"You wanna dance?" He surprised her by holding out his hand as he stood.
She raised her eyebrows. "Uh, sure," her left hand folded into his right before allowing herself to be pulled up out of her seat.
Once on the dance floor, the pair fell into a comfortable rhythm as the soft music floated around them. "When did you learn to dance like this?" Julie asked a few minutes into a waltz.
"Just something I picked up," he answered vaguely, his voice smooth. She nodded, accepting the answer.
"Did I tell you how good you look tonight?" He broke the silence a few minutes later.
She giggled. "I think you mentioned it," her cheeks tinted to a shade that probably matched the bright red cocktail dress she was sporting.
"Well, you do," his answer was smug. Then, he winked at her and Julie's knees felt began to feel like jello. Tim Riggins was not supposed to have this kind of effect on her; not when he was her father's fullback, not when he was all grown up, not ever.
"You use that line on all the girls?" she joked once she had regained the use of her voice.
He shook his head no.
She grinned. "Thanks," she finally said. Okay, maybe he could have that effect on her a little bit, but only a little bit.
"Anytime, Taylor," was his simple response.
They continued dancing until they began to notice the emptying of the dance floor. "It must be getting late," Julie commented.
"Almost two," he answered simply. Her eyes widened; she hadn't noticed the hands of the large clock on the other side of the room were traveling to a later hour.
"I'm totally going to fall asleep tomorrow morning in my meeting," she said with a chuckle.
He shrugged. "You need to head out?"
"Probably," her voice was evidence of her reluctance to leave because, much to her amazement, she was having a good time with Tim.
"Come on then," Tim removed his arm from her waist, but allowed his hand to remain in hers as he led her back to the table where her things were sitting. Grabbing her clutch, she took her phone out to put a call into car services after remembering that she had been given their number to use for the evening. However, when at automated voice announced that it would be anywhere between one and two hours before her car arrived, she moved on to Plan B.
"Guess I'll have to take a cab," she said after disconnecting the hall.
Her unease about having to climb in a dirty, yellow car at this time must have been written on her face judging by Tim's offer to see her home. "Are you sure?" she really didn't want to impose on his evening.
"I need to be heading out anyway," he assured her.
"Okay." She followed him out of the ballroom, through the lobby, and onto the quiet streets. Finally, after waiting for a good ten minutes, a taxi pulled up and they climbed in after flagging it down. Julie gave the driver her address and they pulled back onto the streets.
They rode in relative silence, Tim pointing out every now and then the places he had been to as they passed. The late hour provided for a lighter amount of traffic so a trip that usually would take twenty or so minutes only took ten. "You need me to walk you up?" Tim asked when they stopped in front of her building.
"Nah, I'll be fine," she said while digging through her clutch for some cash to pay the driver.
He reached over and stopped her digging hand, "I got it."
"Thanks," she looked up with a smile. "It was really good seeing you, Tim."
"You too, Taylor," he grinned back. Julie had to forcibly remove her gaze from his lips and the dimples that formed in his cheeks. Then, in a move that completely threw her off, he leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek.
"Well, uh, I better," she gestured to her waiting building before quickly opening the door and hopping out.
"Night, Taylor," he yelled through the window when she turned around to wave. Unable to think of a worthwhile answer, she simply flipped her hand before turning and climbing the stairs into her building.
Unbeknown to her, Tim was grinning madly in the taxi following their encounter, every thought in his mind thinking of ways he could run into her again.