A/N: So, my idea for this one was that it would be about Ella stealing Nate's old clothes. I intended it to be short, but that didn't happen. Haha. I like it though. It's fun. I hope you guys enjoy it! The prompt for this one is #60: Old.
old·er, old·est or eld·er, eld·est, noun
no longer in general use.
acquired, made, or in use by one prior to the acquisition, making, or use of something more recent.
It had started innocently enough. She and Nate had gotten into a food fight while trying to make cupcakes at his house, and Ella didn't have a shirt to change into. So Nate offered her an old T-shirt he never wore. It was gray and had the Bayside High School Tiger on it from Saved by the Bell. It was comfortable and stretched out, and Ella had worn it home along with an old pair of Nate's sweats.
She'd planned on giving both back. She really had. But they were just so comfortable, and before the first wash they had smelled like Nate. Freshly clean and yet deliciously spicy.
Later that week she'd gone over to his house for a small barbeque and she'd forgotten to grab a jacket. Without even asking her if she was cold he'd placed his blue fleece jacket over her shoulders. Again she'd worn it home, but this time she purposefully forgot to give it back. Eventually Nate had forgotten she had it. She wore around her apartment all the time. It was cozy, and very warm.
And then suddenly it had become a habit. She found herself "forgetting" jackets all the time just so she could borrow something from Nate. She sometimes wondered if Nate knew what she was up to, but he never said anything about it.
Not long after the barbeque she'd been helping him clean out his garage and stumbled across a toboggan that resembled the head of a bison. It didn't look like something Nate would ever wear. It had two strings hanging down from the earflaps. Nate would never actually wear a hat with earflaps. And there was a puff ball on the very top of the hat, and two stuffed "horns" on either side. She hadn't been able to resist sticking into her purse and taking it home with her.
A few weeks ago Nate had come over to watch a movie and left his grey button up sweater and his black fedora behind. Ella had noticed them sitting on the back of her couch as soon as he left. She supposed she could have caught him in the hallway, but she hadn't really wanted to. She felt bad. But Nate had a million other hats just like that one, and he had lots of other sweaters too. He would survive. She'd spent the rest of the night wearing both the sweater and the hat. She'd made funny faces and posed with the hat and sweater in front of her bathroom mirror all night long as if she were a part of a photo shoot. She'd even taken a few pictures of herself. Just for fun.
Her collection kept growing, and Ella didn't know how to stop it. Before she'd realized what had happened she'd added a plaid button down shirt, a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, and a GunsNRoses T-shirt to her "Nate drawer." She was turning into a kleptomaniac. She was amazed that Nate hadn't seemed to notice so many pieces of his clothing were missing. And now Ella was headed back to Nate's for a movie night.
This had become a weekly thing for them. Neither of them knew how it had started, but it had and now they saw each other every Thursday night. They would alternate their location every week and this week it was Nate's turn. Everything was up to him. This time she was determined to not leave with anything that wasn't hers. She would not steal form Nate again. She wouldn't.
She walked in the front door and her brow furrowed at haze that seemed to cover his living room. A loud beeping suddenly sounded from the kitchen and she heard Nate curse.
"Dammit! Really? Come on!"
"Nate?" Ella called as she walked toward his kitchen.
He poked his head out into the living room and winced when he saw her. "You're early."
"No, actually, I'm not," She said with a smirk. "It's 6:07. I'm late."
"What?" He asked as he looked down at his watch. He groaned. "I lost track of the time. Great."
The smoke alarm continued to beep, and Ella shook her head at him. She sprinted toward the kitchen and turned on the fans above the stove and opened the window above his kitchen sink. She picked up two of his kitchen towels and handed one to him. "Start fanning, Master Chef."
His cheeks turned pink and he mumbled curses under his breath. Ella grinned at him and continued to fan the smoke away.
"What were you cooking?" Ella asked as the haze of smoke began to clear.
He glanced away form her. "I was trying to cook dinner, but…well; as you can see I wasn't very successful."
She chuckled at him. "Well, at least you didn't need your fire extinguisher."
He sent a playful glare her way. "Funny."
"Calm down, Nate. It happens to everyone. There was this one time that I put too much batter in a cake pan, and it spilled all over the inside of my oven. That was a pain to clean. So, believe me, I know," She told him with a shrug. "Besides, no matter what you do you could never be as bad of a cook as Mitchie. The girl set fire to a toaster once. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't been there to see it."
The smoke alarm stopped and Nate huffed. "You're right. You're totally right."
Ella shook her head. "It really bugs you when you're not good at something, doesn't it? You don't have to be perfect, Nate. Really."
"You are," He mumbled softly. At least that's what she thought she heard. He'd nearly whispered it so she couldn't be sure. If she heard him correctly then she had no idea how to respond. She decided to pretend she hadn't heard him.
She glanced at the two pots and the skillet on the stove. It wasn't a total loss. Well, the sides, whatever they had once been…were done for. But the main course was still edible. The chicken breast was a little darker than normal, but it would still be tasty.
"It's not a complete disaster, Nate. The chicken's still good," Ella told him. "You just need two new side dishes. That's all."
She glanced over her shoulder to find him leaning against the kitchen doorway with his eyes on her. She blushed and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
He shook himself out of his daze quickly. "Sorry, I spaced for a second there. What did you say?"
"I said your chicken's still edible. You just need two new side dishes."
"Right, well," He said as he walked over to his cabinets. "I have some canned vegetables up here. Will that work?"
Ella nodded and moved to stand beside him as he opened a cabinet. She stood on her tip toes and attempted to reach a can of green beans and Nate smirked at her as she stretched.
"Need some help there Ella?" He asked.
She huffed and glared at the shelf that was just out of her reach. "No, I'll do it."
Nate took a step back and let her work it out.
He watched in amusement as Ella turned her back to the counter and then hopped onto it.
"Ella, are you sure you don't want—"
"No, I'll get it."
She brought her legs up onto the counter and then sat up on her knees. She was finally eye level with the shelf that held the canned vegetables. She smiled brightly and pulled down a can of carrots and a can of green beans. She turned and sat back down. She moved to hop off the counter but lost her balance and began to fall forward. Nate rushed forward and steadied her before she slipped completely off the counter. Ella gasped as Nate's hands wrapped around her waist. That spicy, freshly clean smell that lingered on all of his clothes hit her nose, and her eyes instinctually drifted closed.
"Ella?" Nate asked softly. "Are you alright?"
"Hm?" She asked distractedly.
"Ella?" He asked again. This time his concern sounded a little more urgent. "Are you hurt?"
Her eyes slowly opened and she shook her head. "No, no. I'm fine. Thank you."
Nate smiled softly at her and helped her down. "Good. Okay, why don't you put the vegetables on the stove while I clean out the other pots. I wouldn't want to risk burning a second round of vegetables."
She nodded wordlessly as he removed his hands from her waist. She resisted the urge to grab his hands and wrap them around her again. She really just wanted to stand there in the kitchen with his arms around her. With him so close and the smell of him so intoxicating it was very hard for her to focus on anything else.
Nate pulled out two clean pots for her to put the carrots and the green beans in and she forced herself to focus on the task at hand. She watched the vegetables and stirred them every so after. The faint sounds of Nate scrubbing could be heard from the sink to her left, and she could help but glance over at him every so often.
Even his back was beautiful. How was that even possible? She blamed it on how defined all of his muscles were. She was very tempted to wrap her arms around him from behind. She had no idea where that urge came from, but it was there none-the-less. The green beans hissed and Ella quickly stirred them. They needed a bit more water.
"Nate?" Ella asked.
"Do you have a measuring cup? I need to pour some more water on the beans."
"Got it covered," Nate said as he dried his hands and scrambled through his drawers. He finally found a measuring cup and quickly filled it with water. He placed it beside of the stove on the counter. His hand rested on the small of her back. "There you go."
She turned to thank him and realized too late that his face was only centimeters from hers. She let out a shocked gasp. "Oh."
She felt his gaze linger on her lips for a moment before he cleared his throat and backed away. "Sorry. I need to finish with the dishes."
She held back a disappointed sigh as he stepped away from her and headed back toward the sink. She turned the burner underneath the skillet on and reheated the chicken while the vegetables finished cooking. Once everything was done she turned to tell Nate and found him spacing out again. She was beginning to think he was staring at her.
He cleared his throat and looked down at the floor before looking back to her. "Is it ready?"
She nodded. "Yep, it's done."
Nate pulled down two plates and then silverware for them both. They filled their plates then sat down at the table in Nate's dining room. Ella slipped off her heels on the way to the table and Nate smirked at her bare feet. "Why do you wear those if you're just going to take them off? Why not save your feet all the pain?"
"They make me taller, and I like the way heels make my legs look."
"I don't think you need heels to make your legs look good, El."
Her head shot up and she blinked at him. He had a hand on his forehead and his eyes closed tight as if he was trying to forget he'd said that.
She smiled and laughed softly. "Thank you, Nate."
He opened his eyes and nodded slowly. "You're welcome."
They ate dinner and talked about their days, and Nate mentioned seeing someone wearing a sweatshirt he used to have. Ella froze.
"You know what's funny though?" He said. "I don't remember what I did with it. I wouldn't have given it away. I only bought it a few months ago. It's not in any of my drawers or my closet."
"That's weird," Ella said slowly as she pushed around the carrots that were left on her plate.
"Yeah, actually the last time I saw it I let you borrow it. It had Mickey Mouse on the front of it. Do you remember what happened to it?" He asked her.
She thought she saw a hint of a secretive smirk cross his features.
"Um, no. I'm pretty sure I left it on the back of your couch before I went home that night."
"Too bad. I never wear it. I was gonna let you have it since you seemed to like it so much," Nate told her.
Oh geez, Ella thought as she took a deep calming breath. "Oh, Nate. That's sweet. Well, if you find it let me know. I'd love to have it."
And I do, she thought guiltily.
They finished dinner and took their pates to the sink. They decided to go ahead and do the dishes. The longer they let them sit the harder they would be to clean. Ella was washing and Nate was drying. Ella turned on the water to rinse the skillet and Italian dressing Nate had cooked the chicken in splashed up and splattered across her shirt.
Ella let out a small yelp. "No!"
She dried her hands and grabbed for a paper towel and began to try and blot away the dressing. This was one of her favorite blouses. She let out a high pitched whine and pouted.
Nate grabbed her hands to hold them still while he looked at the stain. "That's not so bad. I've got some spot cleaner in my laundry room. If you take care of that right now it won't set."
Ella smirked at him. "Hey! I'm the clothes person here. You don't think I know that already?"
"Sorry, I forgot for a second. At least you know you've taught me well," He said with a chuckle. "C'mon will find you a shirt to wear while we wash that one."
He took her hand and led her upstairs to his room. He walked into his obscenely large closet and came back out with a blue button down dress shirt. He took it off the hanger and handed it to her.
"Don't you have anything a little less expensive for me to wear? This is a really nice shirt," Ella said hesitantly. Nate shrugged and turned to make his way out of the room. "I have about ten more just like it, Ella. It's not a big deal. I'll be waiting downstairs when you're done.
Ella changed quickly and then headed down stairs to spot clean her shirt and then throw it in the washer. She then joined Nate in the living room and curled up on one end of Nate's couch. He pressed play on the DVD and sat down next to her. His hand accidentally brushed one of her bare feet.
"Geez, El. Your feet are freezing."
Her brow furrowed. "They are?"
"Yes, they're like ice," He said as reached out placed a hand on the bottom of her foot. "I'll be right back."
"Wh-what? Where are you going?"
"I'm getting you a pair of socks. Your feet are making me feel cold," He told her with a chuckle. "No need to pause the movie. I'll be back in a flash."
She touched a hand to the bottom her feet and frowned. They didn't feel that cold to her. Yeah, they were a little chilly, but it's not like they were icicles.
Nate came back down the stairs and tossed a pair of soft grey cashmere socks at her. "Put those on."
"Nate, I really don't think my feet are that cold."
"If they're going to be next to me on the couch I'm going to need you to put those on. Your feet are cold. Trust me," He told her with a smile.
"If you say so," She said with a shrug as she slipped the expensive socks onto her feet. She was not going to take these home. She would give them back before she left.
Although, they were awfully soft, and very very warm.
Oh no. She had to stop. She would not steal anymore of Nate's belongings. She huffed and peeled the socks off of her feet. She dropped one onto the floor and then reached for the other one. Nate's hand stopped her.
"What are you doing?"
"My feet are warm. You can take your socks back now."
"Why are you being so weird about the socks? Just wear them."
She gave him a questioning glance. "I'm not the one being weird. Why do you keep insisting that I wear them, Nate? What's going on?"
"N—nothing. Your feet are cold, that's all."
She rolled her eyes. "My feet are not cold."
Was it possible that Nate had been allowing her to steal from him? Why would he do that?
She picked the first sock up off of the floor and rolled it back up with the other one. She shoved them into his hands. "Here."
"No," Nate said as he threw them back at her. She caught them and immediately tossed them at his head.
"Stop trying to make me wear your socks."
"C'mon, don't tell you don't want them! You always try and stea—Never mind. Its fine, I'll put them back."
He stood to take the socks back up stairs, but Ella grabbed his arm and pulled him back down. "You know, don't you?"
"I figured it out after I just happened to see pictures of you in my sweater and fedora on your camera," He admitted hesitantly. "I suspected before then, but those pictures confirmed it."
She turned bright red. "Oh God, oh God. So you—you know that I've basically been stealing your stuff? A—and you don't mind? I thought for sure you'd be freaked!"
He rubbed the back of his neck. "I—I think it's kind of cute, actually. I don't know. I like the thought of you wearing my clothes. Not that I could tell you why. I just do."
She blushed. "Really?"
"Let's just say you look way better in my clothes than I ever could. Honest."
She laughed. "Even in your socks?"
"Even in my socks."
She snatched them back from him. "Well, then give them back. I want them."
He smirked and took them away from her. "Too late for that. You already turned them down."
Her mouth dropped open and she glared at him. "I only turned them down because I was trying to be a good person and resist the urge to steal your stuff!"
She lunged for the socks and he pulled them out of her reach.
He chuckled and continued to play keep away with her. Finally she huffed and decided she'd had enough. He watched with wide eyes as she slowly straddled his lap.
"Um, Ella—" He cut himself off as she leaned in close. Her lips were hovering over his and he was completely unprepared for what she did next. She ripped the rolled up socks from his hand and jumped off of his lap. She smirked at him as she ran away. He stood and glared at her. "That was evil. Pure evil, Ella Pador."
All he got in response was a maniacal giggle. He raced after her. Two laps around the living room and one around the kitchen. She paused in the laundry room when she spotted something brightly colored in a pile of neatly folded clean laundry. She laughed and picked them up before taking off again.
"Ella, what did you just take?" Nate yelled after her as he chased her up the stairs.
She giggled again and he sped up. She ducked into his bedroom and tried to slam the door, but he was too fast and edged his way inside. She shrieked and managed to lock herself in his closet before he could reach her.
"You have got to come out of there sometime," He called through the door. "And I'll be waiting right here when you do."
He didn't have to wait long. The door opened and Ella slowly stepped out. He had been prepared to chase her again, but he wasn't prepared for what he saw.
Ella was wearing a pair of his sweats. They were old and way too small. He hadn't had a chance to throw them out yet, but underneath those sweat pants he saw the edge of something else. There was elastic peeking out that was covered in red, white, and blue. His eyes narrowed on her and he looked her up and down. She was now dressed in his clothes from head to toe. His blue dress shirt, his sweat pants, his socks, and…
"Ella, are those my…Superman boxers?" He asked with a gulp.
"Maybe," She said coyly.
"You realize I'm going to need those back right?" He asked.
She glanced at him thoughtfully before practically singing her answer. "Mmm, nope. I don't think so."
"If you want them back, Nate," She said with a flirtatious smile. "You're going to have to take them back."
She pranced passed him and twirled in front of him. His mouth suddenly felt very dry and he swallowed thickly and licked his lips. "That could be dangerous."
She smiled at him knowingly. "I know, but this is what you wanted right? The reason you let me steal your stuff? You wanted me to wear your clothes. Well, I'm wearing them, Nate. Now what?"
He took several determined steps forward and Ella backed away teasingly.
"So, why exactly do you like the idea of me wearing your clothes?" Ella asked with a smirk as she continued to step backward.
He glared at her. She knew the answer. It was obvious. She just wanted to hear him say it.
"I think you know the answer to that," He said in a thick raspy voice.
"How can I know if you don't ever tell me?" She asked. "I might know, but then again every possible moment we've had tonight has been sidestepped. By you. So I can't exactly be sure, can I?"
The back of her legs hit the frame of the bed and she glanced back at the mattress before returning her gaze to him. For a second, he thought she was going to try and climb across the bed to get away from him. But she didn't. She stayed put. He closed in on her and stepped into her personal space. "You want to be sure? You want a real definitive answer?"
Her flirtatious smile faltered and he saw her nerves peeking through. "…yes. I do."
He slowly snaked his arms around her and pulled her closer. "Are you going to get offended and call me a sexist pig if I tell you the truth?"
"I suppose that depends on what the truth is," She said with a gulp. He tightened his arms around her until her body was pressed against his. Ella took in a nervous breath as Nate leaned toward her ear.
"If you're wearing my clothes…then it's almost like I'm claiming you. It makes me feel like…"
His voice was soft and gentle and didn't at all match his words. Ella's heartbeat sped up and she couldn't resist finishing his sentence. "Like I'm yours?"
"Yes," He whispered. Ella shuddered from the feeling of his warm breath on her neck.
"I am yours, Nate. I have been for a long time," Ella admitted quietly as she reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck.
He brought a hand up from her back to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear, and then tilted her chin upward so her eyes met his. "Really?"
She nodded and then cast her eyes downward. "What I'm less sure about, though, is whether or not I can claim you."
"You can, Ella. In fact, you're the only person I want staking claim over me," He said honestly. She brought her eyes back to him and he smirked at her. "I could prove it if you want. I could wear some of your clothes."
Ella's eyes widened and she laughed at the image. "Oh good God, don't. Nothing good could come of that. Either you'd stretch them out and I'd never be able to wear them again or you'd fit in them and I'd want to kill myself."
He laughed and brought his hand up again to cup the side of her face. His thumb lightly caressed her cheek. His expression suddenly grew serious, and Ella could feel the anticipation in the air. She sighed happily as he finally closed the distance between them and brought his lips crashing down onto hers. He pressed her body closer to his with the hand that was firmly placed on her back, and she pulled herself up onto her tip toes. Her lips parted and Nate groaned as the kiss deepened. The hand that had been cupping her face moved to the back of her neck and slipped into her hair.
Ella wanted to keep kissing him but standing on her tip toes was becoming an issue. She pulled back and stood flat on her feet. She prepared to lift herself back onto her toes, but before she could Nate sat down on the bed pulled Ella down beside of him. He pressed his forehead to hers and wrapped his arms around her waist. She slung her legs across his laps and brought her arms back to his neck.
"Ella," Nate said as he tried to catch his breath.
"I love you."
She beamed at him and pulled his lips to hers for a quick passionate kiss. The broke apart and Ella wrapped her finger around one of his curls. "I love you too."
Nate slowly nudged her back on the bed until they were both stretched across it. His fingers slipped underneath the hem of the blue button up shirt she was wearing and traced circles on her back. He kissed her slowly, and Ella couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. There was so much emotion in Nate's kisses, and she was officially addicted. He pulled back and lifted the bottom of her shirt just enough to reveal her belly button.
She let out a blissfully happy sigh as his fingers grazed her skin.
"So, what do you plan on taking home with you this time?" Nate asked her with a grin. "The socks? The shirt? What?"
"You, Nate. You're coming home with me this time."