Love in the Key of G

Act One : Juilliard

February 15 -Morning-

It's a few minutes after 8 AM and I'm only a little tired as I walk the couple of blocks into the city to find the local newsstand.

Coffee already in hand, little plastic top securely in place, I briefly set down my cup, glancing at the headlines as I dig out a crumpled dollar bill from the bottom of my pocket, pushing it across the counter to the surly-looking vendor. I wait on change—a quarter—gathering my coffee and paper, taking a second to situate it in the crook of my arm before stepping off the curb into the street.

Traffic is at a manageable standstill and I weave around the immobile cars to the other side, sipping tentatively from my coffee. Still hot. It's a welcome difference from the chill of air blowing shortly through the silhouettes of tall monolithic buildings on either side of the street. Pollution-dark snow stubbornly clings to sidewalk in places where the sun has yet to shine, packed tightly against the curb in makeshift ramps that I have to practically vault to get onto the sidewalk.

Wiggling my slightly singed tongue against the roof of my mouth, I use my newspaper to brush lingering snow off a nearby bench under a once shady, but now bare and prickly looking tree, shrugging off my bag and sitting despite the fact that the cold has crept through my shoes and into my toes.

I don't really mind winter. The crisp air, the smoky wisps of steam from my coffee, and there has always been something strangely captivating about seeing your own breath. Reminds me of being a kid in the corner of the schoolyard at recess, pretending to smoke like it was cool.

Spreading the first pages of newspaper, I rummage through for the Features section, pulling out the crossword and pointedly ignoring the column on the next page. Once upon a time, I was really good at these. My mother was a bit of a word queen, and we used to do them together every morning. I could clearly remember the pattern of blue and white of her comforter and curling up in the thick blankets so big I could, as a eight-year-old, get easily lost in, trying to remember lines of poetry and movie titles.

I curl my legs up on the bench, folding my feet as far under my thighs as I can manage in an effort to warm them a little, balancing my coffee cup on a slat of the bench so it was just within arm's reach. A yawn sends a small cloud into the air in front of my face, and I blink away the last remnants of fuzz from my brain as I glance at a random clue, confident about my answer already.

23) Down : Underworld of Greek Mythology. Easy.

Just as I search through my bag for a pen and am jotting down the first two lines of a capital H, I'm suddenly aware that I'm sharing my little area with someone besides the occasional passing pedestrian.

The black case draws my attention first. It's snapped wide open, revealing a red velvet lined inside and twisted curved metal that reflected the sun before being cradled carefully in hands covered in fingerless gray faded gloves. The owner itself is bundled in a brown Carhartt with a little age to it and khaki painters pants. His covered hair is pushed flat under a forest green knit beanie, leaving his dark bangs to curl down and out from under the edges of his hat so they hung in front of his eyes at an odd angle.

He crouched and picked through his case for small fragile-looking bits of metal and deftly assembling them together with quick hands. I become vaguely aware that I'm staring at this moment and in vain attempt to start up my puzzle again, I scribble down the rest of the letters in their appropriate spaces, H-A-D-E-S, double-checking the clue simply out of habit.

The other occupant to my spot is finished with his assembling and I can't help but notice that it's quite a large instrument—a saxophone—larger than the soprano and more slight than the baritone, but that's about the extent of my knowledge. It's lacquered black which is strange because I've only seen them in gold before.

I shiver lightly and reach for my coffee to counter it, drinking slowly and worrying the edges of my crossword with my fingernails. Saxophone Boy is pacing back and forth in my peripheral vision, probably to keep his body warm and I'm trying not to think about the column on the other page opposite the crossword and scramble of the Features section.

Because it's not my column, of course.

Not anymore, anyway.

I nibble the edge of the cover to my cup and sigh, deeply. Okay, so I'm not awake this early because I enjoy it. It's because I'm used to it. I'm used to my old office hours, waking at six, spending the whole day on my feet or at a desk. I can't stand sitting around at home, dodging my roommate's subtle jabs about due rent and grocery shopping.

I can't stand unemployment.

So I buy a coffee and a paper and attempt to get my life back on track. Which usually results in half-assed crossword puzzles and thoughts of resentment and self-pity.

Saxophone Boy stops pacing for a second, pulling what looks like a thin, broken Popsicle stick from his lips and sliding it into the mouthpiece. He's kind of young, somewhere 20-ish. I briefly wonder what he's doing out on the sidewalk on a Tuesday at 8 AM with a saxophone.

Struggling musician, I assumed.

Blue eyes flicker up from under his knit hat after a moment and the movement is too quick for me to try to look away in time without seeming like a huge dork, so I establish eye contact for two whole seconds, and try to remember if I had ever seen someone with eyes quite that clear and bright before. The boy smiles a little around his mouthpiece, and I'll admit it, I'm intrigued.

I sink down on my bench and try to appear more enveloped in my crossword as my employment woes take a back seat to interesting Saxophone Boy, and suddenly, I don't feel so depressed anymore. I couldn't quite read into that smile, but maybe—What if he was interested too?

I nearly jump when he plays a few notes, scales that are entirely too loud at first before he finds the correct pitch and key and everything kind of evens out into something much more pleasant.

His eyes are closed, and the melody of the music is almost sensual sounding in its slow, swinging cadence, producing low vibrations that thrums steadily in my chest. The boy's lips are cherry red around his mouthpiece from the cold, and he is quite possibly the most exciting thing that I have encountered in a long time.

The song he's playing is like something I'd only heard of in jazz clubs. It's something improvised and artsy, sad and soulful, all at once. Almost haunting, and I find myself wondering how someone so young could have possibly acquired such a veteran sound, with an obvious skill that only added to the mystery of why exactly he wasn't somewhere playing professionally in front of an audience that actually gave a damn and making albums and all that good shit, and not freezing outside in the cold for a tiny amount of money.

Which, annoyingly, brought my train of thought back to my own situation. What the hell was I doing freezing outside in the cold?

Crossword. Right.

It's right around this point that I think about packing it in for the day, even though it's only been about 20 minutes or so, and dragging my pity pot on elsewhere to darken some other bench in the city, because Saxophone Boy's song has gotten just a little bit too somber and oppressed sounding for me. And right now the only thing from throwing myself in traffic is the side of a bus stop, with an underwear ad model spray-painted as if her nipples were showing through her half-shirt.

The immature graffiti is just another reason to move and I stand, gathering up my bag and shove the newspaper and ballpoint inside. I dig in my pocket for the quarter I had earlier. The kid's saxophone case is still wide open, bright red felt enticing passersby to kindly drop their unwanted change inside. I figure it's only decent to give him something, even if I only have very little to give myself.

Blue eyes follow my hand as I drop the quarter in his case and he looks at it for a long second, before meeting my eyes. I almost offer an apologetic shrug, but he smiles, mouthpiece still between his lips, cheeks still tight as he continued to play seamlessly, and it's the best thank you he can manage, I suppose.

"Play something happier next time." I say, and his clear eyes seem to nod in a way he can't at the moment.

And I step off the curb and follow the line of parked cars to the other side of the street.


February 17 -Morning-

This morning I'm actually pretty excited because I managed to get a job interview with a local newspaper. It's nothing huge or life altering, but it's a job, just to pay the rent until something better comes along.

I spend much more time than I'd like to admit searching my closet for something appropriate to wear. I've never been the type to fuss over clothes, but somewhere along the line, I lost my nerve, had to take a minute to stop, and start all over again.

I don't dress up.

Anyway, I've got an hour before my interview and I walk the two blocks it takes to get my usual coffee—regular with milk and sugar—ultimately deciding to skip the paper today. I don't have time for crosswords and even the stray thought of a newspaper would most likely make me nervous. So I sip at the coffee I can barely afford, and, well...

I wonder if the Saxophone Boy is playing the same spot again.

At first the street is quiet, though still busy with street noise, passing cars and the occasional horn. It isn't until I'm at least a block away from the bench I was at the other day that I begin to hear the familiar sound, the smooth, sensual sound of saxophone carrying on the frigid wind. I can't help but smile a little at the drastically lighter tone and the quite bouncier, jovial melody. Walking still, the source of the music is a khaki Carhatt speck on the sidewalk between the wall of buildings and a miniature bus stop. And there's a bit of a crowd today.

I feel oddly proud about that, as if it were my suggestion that gave him more of an audience. Standing on the edge of the six or seven people, I drink my coffee and watch, keeping a vigilant eye on the time, all the while.

Whatever he's playing is phenomenal. I'm not even a fan of jazz, I can't even fathom anyone my age being an actual "fan" but, even in my lack of musical expertise, I can at least tell that it's good. It's kind of fast and his fingers switch seamlessly between keys, making it look as easy as any other person would dial a phone. He makes it look effortless. Which only succeeds in making me that much more curious about his situation.

It takes me a minute, still watching the skilled musician before I realize that I'm going to be late if I stand here any longer. And I'm faintly disappointed because I didn't get to talk to him this time. I don't have any change either, which I feel a little bad about as I shuffle along down the sidewalk, weaving around the small group of pedestrians lingering to watch the performance.


The sudden lack of music and abrupt switch for human voice made me pause. Actually, I stopped walking altogether, nearly stumbling over my own feet. Recovering quickly from my own ridiculous reaction, I half-turned back, feeling those eyes on me, strangely attractive as they were. I made eye contact again—three seconds this time—and managed a small smile.

It's kind of awkward, really, because it wasn't one of those situations that called for anything as sincere as a smile. Not a real one anyway. But Saxophone Boy is satisfied and returns to playing somewhere in the chorus of what sounds like the theme to Sesame Street.

I laugh a little under my breath at the fleeting exchange, though it's more like a conversation taking place days apart at a time, stepping up my pace because I need to find a cab soon. Traffic can be so unforgiving.


February 17 -Afternoon-

Coincidently, I hate job interviews almost as much as I hate unemployment. But if I had to choose between the two, I'd have to say the interview was the lesser of two evils. I work up just enough attentive expressions and answers that I know they want to hear to be mildly confident about the possibility of landing the job. Like I said earlier, it's not huge, definitely not where I want to be, career-wise, but it's something to pay the bills until...whenever. I don't know.

I used to be a columnist. Like an actual columnist, with my little picture and my name and a daily column in an actual newspaper that the general public actually read. According to statistics anyway.

I used to rate hotels. You know, stay in a hotel and review the atmosphere and the service and the food. And I was good at it. No, I was damn good at it, and it wasn't like I had any obligations tying me down, like a family or spouse, that would keep me from traveling the country. It was my perfect, perfect job.

Before I was downsized, anyway. Before I was fired.

Now it was just painful to think about. My perfect, perfect ex-job and my still existent but still equally painful section of reviews that were actually published as part of a legitimate travel book.

What does that all mean? In a nutshell, at a certain part of my life I got fucked over, and there's nothing I can do about it. And that's it, basically.

The cab ride home is ridiculously long, considering the distance and I wonder if it might've just been easier to walk. While the car is stalled in traffic, I decide to just pay my fare and get out, mostly because it would take what little money I had left to sit there and wait. I heard walking is better for you anyway.

I'm approaching that street again, and I can't help but notice the quiet. Guess Saxophone Boy left already, went to find another street to play, maybe. I wish I knew his name, then I wouldn't have to constantly refer to him as Saxophone Boy. Though I'm sure that's what everyone calls him in their mind. Boy with Sax. Or Saxophone Man.

I'm a little surprised to find that he's still there, in the same spot when I make it to the bus stop with the underwear model graffiti. He glances up at me briefly. I notice he's collecting the scattered money from the inside of his case and stuffing it in his deep pockets when our eyes meet for the third time in two days and I feel corny just knowing that I'm keeping count.

"Hi." He speaks first, crouched on his knees on the sidewalk so I have to look down to properly regard him. His eyes are the brightest blue that I've ever seen and I can't really think of much to say other than--

"Hey." I greet in a short puff of breath, sinking onto the chilled bench a few gray squares of sidewalk away from him and his case. Despite the fact that I sat down and all, I almost let the small beginnings of conversation end there but his black-lacquered saxophone catches my eye and I can't help but wonder out loud. "Why do you play out here anyway?"

He blinks and his hands are busy disassembling the saxophone but he doesn't even have to look down to know what he's doing and I find that oddly impressive. "That's kind of rude, don't you think?"

"Oh. Ah—Sorry." I add clumsily, floundering for a second as my thoughts tripped over themselves. Great, I offended him already.

"I mean, you didn't introduce yourself." Saxophone Boy-Man-Guy supplemented with a quirk of his eyebrow that disappeared beneath his hat and his bangs.

I frowned as he stood, brushing off his pants and extended his hand forward, wondering if people actually still did things like this. Formally introducing themselves, I mean.

"I'm Sora." He says and I find the name oddly fitting as I shake his hand, feeling the cold of his fingers contrast with the warmth of his glove.

"Riku." I say, settling back on the bench, considering the person I had now had a name to refer to and wondered if that actually meant something. I still don't know him any better than I did a second ago, and I'm even more apprehensive to inquire about the circumstances that brought him to this particular street, circumstances that I suppose aren't really any of my business anyway.

"You live in this neighborhood?" Sora asks. "I see you like almost every day, so I figure you must live in the area, right?"

I blink at that "every day" comment, curling my hand around the tail of my scarf. "Yeah, I live a couple streets over."

Sora nods, inspecting his saxophone critically, making a face at the world-worn metal, the little dings and dents around the bell.

"So, you'll be playing here tomorrow?" I ask, still very much intrigued, because he was the single most interesting thing going on in my life right now, and it's not like I had much to do tomorrow anyway. Maybe I could ask him out for a drink or something. Because in all honesty, he is pretty cute, and who can resist anyway, right?

"Ah, no. Actually, I gotta hit up Rayburn's," He tilts the neck of his instrument down so he can point out the broken Popsicle stick on the mouthpiece, showing me that the edge was frayed and chipped. "It was my last one."

"The, uh, wood thing?" I ask lamely, vaguely recognizing Rayburn's as a music store. Sora fingers a small knob on a metal fitting placed around the black mouthpiece, his eyebrows coming together in a brief look of confusion.

He then laughs, light and melodic like his own instrument, adjusting the same small knob until the whole piece came loose. "It's called a reed." He removed the little flat stick and pushed on it with his thumb until the tip bowed and bent like wet cardboard. "See, it's really soft."

"Oh." I grimace inwardly at my lack of stimulating input. I'm annoyed that I'm even slightly disappointed that I won't see him for another day.

Sora places his fragile reed inside a small plastic box just big enough to fit it and several others like it, pulling apart his instrument and setting it carefully in the specially formed grooves in the velvet lined inside of the case. He snaps it closed, holding on to the handle as he righted himself. "Guess I'll see you around then." He smiles briefly, taking a few steps in the opposite direction of the street my apartment was on.

I nearly jump in his way in an effort to stop him before he got too far, visibly surprising us both. Sora laughs awkwardly, his eyes a little wide, probably assuming I was some kind of lunatic. Before I even get the chance to speculate on what had gotten into me lately, I'm already asking him out for a drink, all the while panicking in the back of my head.

Sora frowns, head tilting a little to side, his mouth set in a sparse line that neither conveyed disgust nor apprehension. It was a neutral face, like one would have while deep in thought.

"I don't drink." He confesses with another neutral expression, blinking absently.

I just kind of stand there, brain working entirely slow as it frantically attempts to reciprocate for my suddenly dashed plans. In my haste, I didn't bother to think up a Plan B and I can't help but think that it was moments like these that were to blame for my lack of spontaneity.

"I could eat though." Sora offers, switching his case to his other hand and shaking his fingers out. I'm grateful for his suggestion, actually, because I think the words scuba-diving were crossing my mind and this far up north, the closest thing the ocean was a small strip of frozen beach. Also grateful because the last date I went on was...Ah...when did I have a life again? Some time in the last hundred years, I knew that much. "And if you're offering to buy, I don't see any problem with joining you. You know Katz's?"

"Uh, yeah, East Houston, right?" I say, mentally pumping my fist in victory as I start to walk and Sora followed, easily matching my pace with his saxophone case lightly swinging in the air between us.

"I don't really like talking about myself." Sora admitted, swiping his thick knit cap off with one hand, unraveling his scarf with the other as we settled down at a table. Right next to the window, with my back to the door.

Sora swung the black case into an empty chair before sitting down himself and I sit across from him, raising an eyebrow at his comment. I had only asked him how long he had lived in the city. He had a look about him, like he didn't quite belong in Manhattan any more than he belonged out on a street corner in February, playing an old saxophone that he treated more like an infant than an instrument. Who wouldn't ask?

"I noticed." I comment, realizing that it wasn't the first time he dodged one of my questions. I lean forward on my elbow, regarding him briefly, his tousled dark hair and luminescent blue eyes that were a little more subdued indoors. "I'm just trying to figure you out."

He laughs a little, spinning the salt shaker idly with his fingertips. "Why?"

I shrug. "I don't know; you're different. You're interesting."

"I'm not interesting." He declared, twirling the salt shaker until it fell on its side. I notice he's wearing a high school class ring on his left hand but he turns it under his finger with his thumb before I could get a good look at it.

"Been out of school long?" I ask, looking at him a little differently after seeing that ring, slightly mortified to realize that without all the layers and the hat and the scarf, he looks closer to a teenager than anything.

The face he makes is close to annoyance before he evenly says, "I'm 20 years old."

"Just making sure." I defend with a flippancy that I don't really feel, glancing back toward the counter, and the smell of cooking brisket and roast beef and onions.

"You make a habit out of picking up kids or something?"

I blink and it takes me a second to realize he's teasing me. "No." I refrain from telling him he looks like an eighth grader because I have the distinct feeling that he wouldn't appreciate my sarcasm any more than I appreciate his.

"Ah, don't sweat it. I get that a lot." He smiles, tugging at the sleeve of his thermal that peeks out from the edges of his t-shirt. "I have my mom's genes, and we all look pretty young, so..." He shrugs.

"Must be hard." I say.

Sora sighs, slumping in his chair. I can feel his leg brush against mine under the table, but I'm sure it was unintentional. "Look, I really don't like talking about myself." He wrinkles his nose. "It's too conceited."

"Give me a general overview then." I'm being oddly relentless today.

He rolled his eyes. "Alright, fine. But you have to answer my questions too. Even the personal ones." He adds with a bit of an adolescent smirk.

I scoff. "That's usually what happens at these types of things."

Sora smiles, toying with the salt shaker again. "Are we on a date?"

"Better be. I'm paying." I say, feeling a rogue little flutter in my chest at the fact that he looks so pleased.

Okay, so Sora's a bit eccentric, I find out. He's been playing the saxophone since he was 9, and the one he had now used to be his grandfather's, (named Cecilia after his grandfather's mistress). He has the sheet music of 106 songs memorized in his head. And with a little persuasion, he tells me that when he was 15, he once ran away from home to join a tribute band to the Doors and only made it as far as Jersey before the police caught up with him.

"I also used to be in a ska band."


"I'm sorry."

"What? Ska was very popular."

"Yeah, in the 60's." I say around my sandwich that is literally an orgasm in my mouth.

"No, no. That's skinhead music. I'm talking early 80's." Sora declares adamantly. "Ska punk. That's when brass and woodwind really became like, significant."

I shrug because it really isn't a topic of my expertise. "I guess."

Sora chews pensively, blinking his dark lashes in my direction. "So, like, what do you do all day? I mean, you're here with me on a Thursday afternoon, well, night. Job hunt not going well?"

I'm surprised to see that it's almost 8. "I had an interview today, actually."

"Oh? For what?"

"Newspaper. Journalist." I say finally, after swallowing.

"Like Clark Kent." Sora comments, at which I snort. "Just stay away from China."

"Excuse me, China?"

"Yeah, the People's Republic. They arrest you guys like, all the time."

I smile weakly. I don't plan on ever going to China and even the possibility of me actually landing a job reporting overseas is pretty slim, but I don't tell him that.

I'm just about to ask him about his own employment situation, when I'm interrupted by slender hips and long legs standing at my side for no apparent reason other than to stare across the table. "Sora?"

Sora takes a long second to smile as he rises from his chair, hugging the tiny framed girl. I take in her fiery colored hair and sparkly eyeliner and dangly purple star earrings, and little jean skirt that she had to freezing her ass off in, and briefly wonder why this strange young woman was interrupting my alleged date.

"Kairi." Sora says, and I sit there, blinking at the side of his head. "Oh! Kai, this is, um, Riku. Riku, Kairi."

I shake her small hand, which is still cold from outside.

"Oh, Riku. I haven't seen you around. What's your major?"

I raise an eyebrow. "Major?" I already have my degree. In Journalism.

"He doesn't go to school, Kai." Sora rolls his eyes like she should've known that. For a fleeting moment I wonder just how old I look to this girl.

"Oh, sorry." Kairi flustered, switching her little purse between her hands. "I always do that. I'm just so used to Sora dating guys his own age. I mean, not that you're old. It's just Sora's kinda--"

"Kai. Shut up." Sora interrupts, thankfully, hand over his eyes. "Jesus."

"Sorry!" She giggles, apologizing to me again. "I should go, before I say anything else stupid. Duh."

"Airhead." Sora mutters.

"Be nice." Kairi told him, hands ineffectually on her hips. "Or I'll tell your date all about your sophomore year when you--"

"Okay! Shit."

I frown, glancing between them and the tension that formed almost tangibly.

"I gotta go, but call me later, okay, Sora?"

"Yeah, whatever." Sora watches her leave, still standing beside the table. He looks tense so I say something.

"Who was she?"

Sora blinked, returning to his seat. "Kai? Just a girl I went to school with. She's studying to be a dancer at Juilliard."

My eyes widen just a little. I'm mildly impressed. "You went to Juilliard?"

"Since elementary school. Where did you think I picked up the mad sax skills?" He laughs and I can practically see the tension rolling off of him. He picks up his sandwich and resumes eating and it's all just too much for me. Something really doesn't add up here.

"I can ask now, right?"

Sora frowns, licking mayo off the corner of his mouth. "Ask what?"

"Why you play out on the street for tips. What's that about? I mean, you're good. You're really good and you went to fucking Juilliard. It doesn't make any sense." I watch Sora shrug his shoulders heavily. He plays on nonchalance, but I can see right through it.

"The music biz isn't what I thought it was." He supplies vaguely.

When all I offer is a frown, he shrugs again.

"It's just...hard."

He looks a little upset so I let it go, feeling I can easily relate to that sentiment.

February 17 -Evening-

"Whoo! I'm full." Sora say, clapping a hand over his stomach, hidden by his layers of heavy coat.

We make our way down the sidewalk, avoiding slick looking ice spots, Sora's saxophone case swinging in his other hand. It's starting to snow and sadly neither of us have the money for a cab so we really have no choice but to walk.

"You really like my music?" Sora asks me out of nowhere and I look down as I step over a large patch of ice.

"Yeah, you're really talented."

"Thanks." Sora smiles. "I always loved music, since I was a kid. I don't know. It was like, my dream, I wanted to play in the Doors since I was six-years-old."

"I think you're about thirty years too late." I point out needlessly and he makes a face at the sidewalk.

"I know that. I just, I had the hugest crush on Jim Morrison when I was little. I mean, I had only seen him on album covers back then, but I just knew I had to meet him, you know?" He frowns. "I didn't know he was already dead. I just remember crying so hard when I finally found out."

I offer him a little smile and he returns it, weakly. Ah, childhood memories.

"I always thought Marlon Brando was pretty hot." I say. "You know, in Streetcar."

Sora laughs, swinging his case. "I agree."

"Hey, can you play me something?"

"Ah," He looks apologetic, blowing out a breath that I can see in the air in front of his face. "It's too cold."

"Oh." I say. Right. It's nighttime anyway. Wouldn't want to wake up the whole neighborhood.

"I could sing it to you though." Sora offers, wrinkling his nose cutely.

"Oh, you sing too?" I snort. "Is there anything you can't do?"

"I can't fix cars." He says, burying his chin in his scarf to avoid the cold. "I can't dance and I don't know how to sew. I can't balance a check book and I'm a terrible pastry chef."

I laugh out loud, curling my hands in my pockets. "I can balance my check book."

Sora smiles at this and for some reason, the back of my mind is deeming this a good moment to go in for a kiss. And why not? He's only like a foot or so away and he's cute and obviously good company. I stop walking and after a second or two, he does the same, his gait tapering off into a few half-steps.

"Is this where you live?" He asks, looking up at the building we stop in front of. The little latches on his case glitter in the streetlight.

I give him a second to realize that we're in front of dentist's office and I step a little closer. It's warmer where he is and I can't resist leaning against him for a short moment before I take that extra step of space, and Sora breathes in as our lips bump lightly together. I set it up, so I graciously let him take the rest, which he does, tilting his head and eyes falling closed and the warmth of his mouth is quite possibly the most pleasant remedy for the cold.

I feel the faded palm of his fingerless gloves gently cup my cheek and his lips move slightly, pressing a little harder, almost hungry but not quite as aggressive. I'm not ashamed to admit that I sighed against his lips before we parted and Sora looked kind of lost. But judging from his smile, it's a good kind of lost.

"Mm," Sora hums finally, briefly running his tongue over his lips. We haven't moved yet, so the action sends a tiny shiver up my spine totally unrelated to the temperature. "Wasn't expecting that."

I smile. "I think you handled it pretty well regardless." I say, lightly kissing him again. He's more prepared for it this time, setting his saxophone down so both hands are free. Lips both warm and soft are against mine once and I'm exhilarated at the slick movement of tongue that I welcome with a strange amount of eagerness. His chest feels hard beneath my hands but I can't really tell through all the coat I'd have to feel through. I imagine taking the coat off somewhere more private, wondering what his skin looks like completely uncovered by trivial clothes.

I know I might be pushing it, but I ask him anyway. Judging from the kiss, I have about a 60 percent chance of getting him into my apartment. "Wanna come home with me?" I murmured into the small amount of room between us.

Sora smiles and I take it as a good sign that he doesn't break eye contact after I ask. "I probably shouldn't." He shrugs, apologetic when I look disappointed. "I have a bad habit of going home with guys I just met."

"So?" I'm reaching.

He licks his lips and I groan in the back of my mind. You're torturing me, Sora. He smirks, looking at me from under his eyelashes. "You're an enabler."

"I'm also a good person." I say and I manage to get in a kiss right under his jaw before he protests.

"Riku," He breathes and I feel a sense of satisfaction wash over me as I got him to whine and say my name all at once.

I pull it back, reluctantly, figuring I probably shouldn't make him do something he'll regret. "Maybe some other time then." I offer, and his eyes narrow warmly.

"Okay." He says softly, cheeks flushed from the cold and the kiss and just being generally close. I regret my gentlemanly actions at once, sighing through my nose. Oh well. Next time then.

It then occurs to me that I don't have his phone number and the same realization seems to hit him at the same moment because he then pulls out his cell phone and instructs me to put my number in. I give him my phone and he does the same, typing quietly. I eye his class ring again and laugh to myself about the Superman logo wallpaper on his cell.

Cute. Definitely cute.

Yeah, ignore my epic FAIL at updating my other multi-chap. I enjoyed writing this anyway. I needed a quick break from Hypervigilance anyway. That story brings me down sometimes. lol

Review if you're feeling it, so I can know if I should continue this or not. Or at least, how long to make it. Based on reviews, it could be like a three shot. Maybe five.