I wandered aimlessly around the after game party, looking for someone I knew. It was Will's party, but so far there was no sign of him. I had gotten there late, and already the party was starting to wind down, but I just wanted to see Will since I had been away from school sick the past few days and I missed him a ton.
I've never been comfortable at parties, but if it meant seeing the love of my life, I was alright with that. I missed him a ton. I had been sick for the previous week, and before that, it was almost as if everyone was ignoring me. I was still fulfilling my duties as King, but the knights of the round table had been busy with school and stuff.
That's how it usually fell, everyone had something to do but me, so I was left alone. Most of the other guys, Will included, had their big football games and practices, and Miles was working on a super-secret nerd project pretty much 24/7. I was lonely, to put it bluntly. I missed my people, and it didn't help that my birthday is tomorrow, and I hadn't been able to get a hold of anyone, so it looks like I won't have a party.
After making several sweeps of the house, I was miserable and even more lonely then when I started. Ughhhhh. I felt like crying, then keeling over from being abandoned so completely. I finally planted myself near the pool to wither. What a horrible way to spend the days leading up to my birthday. Dying of the flu, then dying of boredom.
I got up, meaning to go to get a soda, but somehow I tripped on something, hurling straight to the ground.
As I found out, I wasn't falling to the concrete, but straight into the pool. I hit the water with a stinging splash, and was instantly soaked. Fighting back tears, I got out of the pool, trying to ignore the stares and people that were already flocking around to see if I was okay. A chill hit me, and I made my way straight towards the door, only stopping to grab my forgotten purse.
I was going home to mourn my pride and birthday.
"Ellie, wait!" A voice came from behind me. I turned to see Lance come around the corner, towel in hand.
"Here, take this. I heard you took a spill" He said, handing the towel to me. I accepted it gratefully, wiping off my face.
"Man, you're soaked. Come on, I'll get you some extra clothes" He took my wrist, and practically dragged me upstairs.
"Where the heck are you going to get girl's clothes from?" I protested, digging my heels in. I didn't want to put on fresh clothes, I just wanted to go somewhere I could cry without anyone looking.
Lance didn't answer anything, just kept pulling me along until we reached Will's room, which I knew from the large poster of the football team on the front. Lance opened the door, and my jaw dropped. Laying on the bed was a beautiful blue dress.
"I-Is that for me?" I stammered.
"I'll wait for you outside while you put it on" Lance replied with a smile, shutting the door softly behind him as he left. I barely heard him. Walking slowly over, I ran my hand along the fabric of the dress, surprised at how soft it was. I put it on, folding my soaked clothes and putting them in a corner to retrieve later.
I dug around in my purse to get a hairbrush and some makeup, fixing my appearance so I didn't look like a drowned rat. I stood and looked around for a mirror to see how I looked.
I caught sight of my reflection in a mirror across the room and almost fell over in shock. I walked closer and reached out to the glass.
I had never looked like this before. I was... Beautiful.
The spaghetti strap dress fit perfectly, the blue fabric adorned with tiny sparkles like stars. I brushed some stray eyeshadow off of my cheek, noticing how my makeup and dress made my blue eyes pop.
Taking a deep breath, I opened the doorway and stepped out into the hall. Lance's eyes widened.
"You look beautiful" He said, smiling. Lance started down the stairs, and suddenly I felt very nervous. What was this leading up to?
Lance stopped and facepalmed, then ran past me back tot he bedroom. He came back a few seconds later, carrying a pair of silver flats.
"Forgot these" He said, handing them to me. I slipped them on, they fit perfectly. What was going on?
We made our way downstairs, and were plunged into darkness. All the lights had been turned off, making it a treacherous path. I felt disoriented, and suddenly felt myself falling forwards for the second time that day. I careened painfully into the wall, swearing quietly to myself.
Lance took my arm and started to lead me towards what I knew to be the kitchen. I started to have a mini-panic attack, I didn't like the dark very much.
Lance dropped my arm, continuing on to the kitchen. I started panicking for real. I was trapped in a pitch-black room. Dead quiet. Alone.
Then, all the lights flicked on at once and about a thousand people jumped out from behind chairs and such.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" They yelled, scaring the crap out of me. My brain was overwhelmed. People planned a surprise party for...ME?
"What?" I shrieked, trying to keep from falling over. Lance and Jen came forwards, carrying a huge cake covered with candles.
"Happy Birthday!" Miles jumped on me from behind. I was giggling now, completely blown away by how happy I was. Leaning forwards, I blew out all 15 candles in one breath.
Everyone cheered, then someone cranked up the music and everyone started to dance. I joined in, having the most fun i'd had in a long time.
After a while, the party started to wind down and I went to go find one fo my friends in hopes of finding Will. I was disappointed that he wasn't at the party, and I missed him like heck.
I found Jen, Lance and Marco at the punch bowl, laughing at some joke they had shared.
"Hey guys" I said, forcing a smile.
"Happy birthday" Marco said, and I nodded.
"Do any of you know where Will is?" I asked, almost afraid to hear the answer. Everyone exchanged weird glances then looked at their feet. My breath froze.
"He...couldn't make it" Marco said, looking anywhere but at me. My heart fell, and you could almost hear a piece chip off.
"Thanks guys, I appreciate the party, i'm going to go home... kinda tired" I forced a smile, trying not to cry as I headed for the door. If I had looked back, I would have seen three pairs of sympathetic eyes following me. Someone called my name, but I ignored them and started to run down the street, tears streaming.
Instead of heading straight home, I ran in the dark to my usual thinking spot, the one I shared with Will. Our place in the trees. Not even bothering to wipe my cheeks, I kicked off my shoes and started to climb the nearest tree. The rough bark seared my feet, and the dropping temperature burned my bare skin. I didn't have a jacket, and it was going to affect me.
For the most part, I felt numb. I shoudn't be upset over this, he probably had some family plans or something. I couldn't help feeling hurt. People go to the trouble of throwing me a party for a birthday I had thought they forgot, and he doesn't show up even though it's at his own house.
I choked out a sob, my brain getting confused between crying and shivering. By now, I had climbed pretty high in the tree, and the wind was whipping my hair around my face. I felt a couple water drops on my arms, and soon it started to pour.
I don't know how long I sat out in the cold and rain, but I was numb and soaked as I started to climb down the tree. I was on the last branch when my cold foot slipped.
I tumbled down from the branch and hit the ground with an agonizing thump, the wind whooshing from my lungs as I choked. My vision spun.
"Allie!" Someone yelled. I heard footsteps race towards me, and felt myself being pulled into a sitting position.
"Allie, say something, please!" I recognized Will's frantic voice. I didn't want to open my eyes, I couldn't see his face without breaking out into tears again.
I felt myself being shaken lightly. I couldn't hide forever.
I opened my eyes to see Will cradling me, and were those...tears running down his face? No, must have been the rain.
"Oh Allie, i'm glad you're alright. I called your parents but they said you hadn't come home, and you left the party, and I thought for some crazy reason you'd committed suicide!" Will said, the words tumbling out of his mouth in a rush. I stayed silent.
"Uh, right. That was a bit much" He said sheepishly. I kept quiet, waiting for him to apologize.
"Allie?" Now I was mad, he should know what he did, and I wanted an answer.
"You didn't come to the party" I said bluntly. Realization dawned on Will's face.
"I'm so sorry Allie, My dad made me come on a business deal right after the game, and I texted Jen to tell her I would be there late and to tell you sorry" He said.
"Jen didn't tell me, Marco did. He said you weren't going to be there at all" I started to cry again, and Will pulled me closer.
"Allie, I never meant to hurt you. I was going to come and see you the minute I got back" He stroked my wet hair.
"But what about these last weeks? You and everyone else have been ignoring me, and i've had to just sit there and stare at a wall" I sobbed.
"We were planning the surprise party, and we couldn't let you know at all. I wanted to be with you so badly it hurt, but I wanted to make this the best birthday ever"
I was full-blown sobbing now. He really cared for me, he really did. I shouldn't have doubted him, he was my knight in shining armor, and he would always come through for me. Will gently set me down, then grabbed my shoes from their spot under the tree. He came back to me and scooped my into his arms bridal style.
"Let's go back to the house, i'll find you some more dry clothes" He said, flashing his perfect smile. I leaned forwards and kissed his cheek.
As he carried me up the hill to where his car was parked, a sudden thought occurred to me.
"Will, where do you keep getting all these girl's clothes?" Will flushed a little.
"Some of my stepmom's old stuff is still laying around, the dress was one of Jen's old ones" He said. I nodded in reply.
"Thanks Will" I whispered into his neck. "You really are my knight in shining armor" He didn't respond, but I knew that he was grinning all the way to his house.
When we got to Will's house, I could hear voices in the kitchen, one obviously Jen's. Will carried me right past the door though, and all the way up the stairs and into his room, setting me gently on the bed.
"You know, just because I fell off an eight foot high tree branch, it doesn't mean i'm an invalid" I said amusedly. Will went to his closet and dug around in on of the drawers.
"I thought I would make it up to you, it's no big deal" He said over his shoulder. He turned around with a shirt and some jeans.
"So...You keep women's clothes in your closet now" I said, fighting giggles.
"I keep them just in case you're over and you need them. That way I don't have to go around looking for stuff" He replied, handing the clothes to me. I took them, expecting him to leave to give me some privacy, but when he turned back to the closet, I froze.
He stripped off his soaked jeans and pulled on a fresh pair. I hid my eyes. I could hear him starting on his shirt, and the temptation was too much. I chanced a peek at his shirtless form and almost passed out.
He was perfectly sculpted, not too muscular, but junk enough to make my mouth water. His skin was flawless, and his chest was completely bare.
"I know you're looking" He said, not even bothering to turn around as he selected a shirt from the drawer.
"Sorry" I replied breathlessly, averting my eyes as I started to shiver uncontrollably. I suddenly realized that I was freezing. Will turned around, eyes wide when he heard my teeth chattering loudly.
"Oh Allie! I forgot you were still wet, forgive me!" he sad quickly, running to the bed and pulling off a blanket to throw on me. He then went to his closet and pulled a pair of sweats and a t-shirt out of the drawers.
"They might be a bit big on you, but they'll fit" He said, turning around and covering his eyes. I stripped out of my wet dress and slipped into Will's clothes. They fit nicely, and smelled like him.
"Okay" I said, and WIll turned around with a smile.
"You look good in my clothes" he smiled, pulling me forwards for a hug. I returned it, glad for the warmth his arms brought.
He pulled back a little, and brought his face closer to mine. I could feel his soft breath on my cheek, and we were so close... All I had to do is stand on my tiptoes and we'd be there.
I started to stretch up, my senses going haywire form the close contact. I was almost there when-
THe door burst open, and Lance charged in.
"Hey I thought I heard-" His eyes went wide when he saw us poised for the perfect kiss in front of him, and Will's bare chest.
"Oh, I didn't know. Sorry!" He said, backing out the door and shutting it behind him.
The moment officially ruined, Will and I stepped back, suddenly awkward and embarrassed.
"Uh, why don't we... Go downstairs, i'll get you something to eat, you must be hungry" Will said, rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment. I complied quietly, following him out into the hallway.
Will hopped quickly down the carpeted stairs, but I took my time, not wanting to fall and die. Despite my efforts, I slipped on the fifth to last stair and feel down the rest, my feet slamming painfully into the floor. I gasped.
"You're clumsy tonight" Will said, helping me up and brushing me off. I bit back a retort as my heels throbbed painfully. Will's face flashed in concern, but I waved him off. He shrugged then picked me up for the second time tonight, bridal style. I kept down a blush as he headed to the kitchen where muffled voices could be heard.
"Oh no, look who got married" Marco teased. "He's already carrying her over the threshold" Jen and Lance chuckled.
"Allie, we were so worried" Jen said, coming forwards to hug me as Will set me down. He went to the sink and filled up some glasses of water, handing one to me and downing the other.
"I'm okay now, so no big deal" I replied, taking a sip of water.
"But its all my fault! Right as you left I got the text from Will saying he would be there soon, and i tried to stop you, but I wasn't fast enough" Jen persisted, her eyes brimming with tears.
"Jen, calm down. I wasn't hurt, and Will found me. It's all good" I gave her another hug, shooting a look at Lance. He caught my drift and took Jen away from me, kissing her cheek.
"Allie, do you want anything to eat?" Will asked. I shook my head then looked at the clock.
"I should actually go home, my parents will be worried sick" I said. Will nodded, and soon we were heading back to my house.
I got out of the warm car's interior to the frosty air outside, and automatically shivered. It had gotten colder while we had been at Will's house.
Will walked me up to my door, bending down and kissing my cheek gently.
"I know it wasn't the birthday you wanted, but I hope you had a little fun" He said with a sheepish expression.
"It was interesting" I replied with a smile. "You can make it up to me if you like, since tomorrow is my real birthday" Will grinned.
"I'll do that" With that he started down the porch steps. I watched him go.
He got a little ways down the driveway before he turned around and came back to stand in front of me, one foot on the bottom step of the porch.
"I Love You" He said, his brown eyes burning softly as they stared into mine. My heart started thudding erratically, and I must have stopped breathing.
I took a step forwards and lept off the porch into his arms, holding him as tightly as I could.
"I love you too" I said into his ear.
"I will tell you every day until we die if it makes you this happy. I Love You, Allie" He replied, swinging me around in a circle as he held my waist tightly. He set me down gently on the steps, his hands settling on my hips. Taking his perfect face into my hands, I pressed my lips against his in a fiery and passionate kiss. He held me tighter, and I ran my hands though his hair.
After what seemed like an eternity, we broke apart gasping for air. In a second, Will's lips were back on mine, trailing burning kisses away from my lips and across my cheek, down to my neck. I sucked in a ragged gasp and ran my fingers through his dark hair again. This was the most intense feeling I had every experienced, this feeling of raw passion.
Will moved back to my lips, slowing down and delivering one last smoldering kiss before letting me go.
He stepped back, and you could feel the electricity in the air between us.
"I Love You" He whispered, and I smiled.
"I Love You too, Will Wagner" I said as he walked away down the driveway.
I knew he was smiling, even though it was too dark to see his face.