CHAPTER 3

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach...

Onwards...

XOXOXO

"Gimme a kiss!"

"Hell no! Get away from me, Loly!"

Grimmjow dodged his younger sister's grasp and edged towards the refrigerator. What the hell was wrong with her this morning? She'd been acting entirely too creepy since she'd found out about his sexual preference, but now, she was just going overboard.

He'd entered the kitchen on eggshells, afraid he'd run into Kenny before the older man's mood had lightened. However, he'd found Loly instead. She had been seated at the kitchen island, inhaling a bowl of cereal. At first, Grimmjow had been thankful that it was only her, but he was seriously reconsidering that line of thinking. She'd asked him a bunch of invasive questions like: how many guys had he slept with, did he top or bottom, what kind of guy was his type... Of course, he'd ignored her, but one thing about his little sister: Loly was incredibly persistent.

Somehow, the interrogation had led to her sauntering over to him, hugging him tightly and gushing over how proud of him she was. He was totally mortified, to say the least. What the hell had happened to his kid sister overnight? What had happened to the evil streak? The effortless teasing and occasional annoyances? Now she was just downright scary.

Loly settled down at the island again, a devious smirk tugging at the corner of her small mouth. "Well, ya know...there's a way to get me to stop badgering you."

Suspicion was instantaneous. "I don' like where this is goin'," he muttered as he continued keeping his distance.

"What are you talking about?" she asked, the fake innocence almost nauseating.

"Yer up ta somethin'. I c'n smell it."

"Oh, Grimmy. You know me so well. Which means," she started as she climbed to her feet again and began heading in his direction. Her stroll was as threatening as a gun. "You should have seen this coming. Unfortunately, you didn't, so I have the upper hand. If you want me to stop being weird, you have to come to the fair with me and Kenny. Tonight. If you don't...well, I'm sure I can think of more ways to torture you."

Evil heifer, Grimmjow inwardly snarled. How could she blackmail him like that? He was her brother, for Christ's sake!

"Loly, now that ain't right, an' you know it. I toldja why I don' wanna go ta the fair, an' yer still tryna make me go!"

"I heard your excuse, and I raise you a proposal!" she stated, hands on her hips.

Grimmjow didn't want to take the bait, but his curiosity got the best of him. He just knew that he was leaping headfirst into trouble, though.

"What?" he grunted.

Loly's smile brightened the kitchen. "I may be small, but I'm still a woman, and I can still kick ass. I'll keep ya safe from all the she-wolves, Grimmy."

He should have known this "proposal" of hers would be ridiculous. How the hell was Loly going to protect him from the throngs of vicious females who were sure to descend on him like a pack of hyenas? He couldn't even keep all of them away, and he was a fully grown man.

"Loly, that sounds all well an' good, but yer only one person. Me an' Kenny have a hard time keepin' these women outta my hair; what makes ya think you c'n take 'em all on yer own?"

"Because these women aren't used to my kind of retribution. You know us northern girls are of a different breed."

"But you were born an' raised down here. Most of 'em know you already, an' the ones who don', ain't gonna care. Loly, listen. I 'preciate what yer tryna do. I really do. I know it comes from a good place, an' all, but I ain't up ta goin' ta the fair this year."

Loly threw one of her famous tantrums, her bottom lip poking out as she stomped her foot. "Grimmy, this isn't fair! We haven't been to the county fair together in years, and the one time I'm here visiting, you wanna be a spoil sport. I won't have it!"

Grimmjow stopped and considered his younger sister's feelings. It was true that they hadn't gone to the fair together in years, and that was mostly because Loly had moved to New York. Now, that she was home, it was only natural that she'd want to spend time with him and Kenny, doing things they'd done when she was still living with them. The annual county fair was definitely one of those things. How could he blame her for wanting him to be there? Maybe he was being a little selfish and unfair. The thought made him grimace. Admitting defeat was always a bitter pill to swallow, but doing so to Loly was more like committing suicide.

Before Grimmjow could speak, Kenny's voice boomed from the doorway. "What the hell is goin' on down here? Can't even get any sleep with all the yammerin'."

Grimmjow's entire body tensed as he avoided his older brother's gaze. Was Kenny still pissed with him? He sure sounded like he was upset, but then again, that was how he got when Grimmjow and Loly made a ruckus. Loly bounded over to Kenny and wrapped her small arms around his much larger mid-section.

"I'm just getting Grimmy to agree to going to the fair with us tonight. He was in the middle of caving when you walked in."

Grimmjow sent the dark-haired woman a scathing glare. "You don' know that," he grumbled.

Loly cackled as she stepped away from Kenny. "Yeah, right! You think I don't know that look on your face by now? Besides, I'm the baby, so I always get what I want. You guys shouldn't have spoiled me so badly when I was little if you didn't want to deal with the consequences."

She was such a blatant brat, but she was also right. He and Kenny had spoiled her rotten when she was a kid, loving the fact that they had a baby sister to protect. Now that she was grown, though, it seemed she still expected the same treatment.

"Alright, knock it off," Kenny muttered as he stepped around Loly and headed directly for the refrigerator. "Where's breakfast, Grimm?"

Grimmjow glanced at his brother, shocked. Kenny was speaking to him again? And he wasn't still mad? When Grimmjow didn't immediately respond, Kenny shot a look at him over his shoulder. He seemed to read Grimmjow's mind because he faced the fridge again and shrugged.

"I'm still pissed that ya think ya can't have a man cuz a'me, but I ain't gonna hold a grudge. I got better things ta do. Like eat breakfast, for one. Ya didn' cook?"

Grimmjow hid his grin behind a fist as he shook his head. "I jus' woke up not too long ago."

Kenny turned to face him fully, his eyebrows raised. "What? That ain't like you. What the hell were ya doin'?"

Grimmjow fought a blush as he thought about last night. After Ichigo had sent him a request for a picture of himself, he'd been shocked. Not only because he hadn't been expecting it, but because he hadn't been prepared to receive the message while he was still awake. Normally, he got Ichigo's messages in the early morning or late at night. So, he'd hurried and sent off a picture, eager to read what Ichigo thought. Did that mean the chef was interested in him like that? Why else ask for a picture, right? Or maybe Grimmjow was just a victim of wishful thinking. It wouldn't be the first time.

He'd been immensely pleased to receive a prompt reply, along with a picture. He remembered it clearly.

Gomen, Grimmjow. My best friend actually sent the message asking for your photo. But I have to say, I was curious as well. Thank you for sending it.

He also remembered being completely mortified after hearing that Ichigo hadn't even been the one to make the request, but then he'd read on, and all of that didn't even matter anymore.

You are very attractive. ...I hope that doesn't offend you since I am also a guy. ...Tonikaku... I sent you mine.

The nervousness was palpable to Grimmjow, even though he was miles and miles away. Still...Ichigo thought he was attractive. That was a good thing, right? Yeah, it didn't mean the man was interested in other men, but there had to be hope somewhere.

What Grimmjow really couldn't get over was seeing the chef in his photo. He'd been floored, stunned speechless as he'd opened up the attachment and took his first glimpse at Ichigo Kurosaki. The man was probably average height, but what he lacked in height, he made up for in sheer beauty. No, he wasn't pretty or feminine, but he was absolutely gorgeous. The picture showed a young man seated on a hill of brilliant, green grass, a shimmering river in front of him, and a cloudless, blue sky behind him. He was wearing a black, sleeveless shirt and dark-blue cargo shorts. A pair of black flip-flops were abandoned at his side, and his toes were digging into the grass. He had this insanely bright, orange hair that was kind of spiky and unruly, but it fit him so well. He had almond-shaped, whiskey-brown eyes that sparkled in the sun as he smiled and waved a hand at the camera. His smile was to die for. His teeth were straight and white, and he had cavernous dimples in both cheeks. When Grimmjow looked closer, he noticed brown freckles running across the bridge of Ichigo's straight nose. His skin was lightly tanned, and his build was that of a runner.

He was amazing.

Grimmjow had determined that from his picture alone. But now he was even more curious. He wondered what Ichigo sounded like. Did he have a deep voice? Or was it more of a lighter tenor? He wanted to know everything about the man.

He must have stared at Ichigo's photo for about twenty minutes before he realized he had another message in his inbox. Shaking himself from his reverie, he clicked on the envelope, grinning stupidly when he read Ichigo's name.

Did you get it? Or maybe I need to resend?

Grimmjow had instantly replied.

Hey, Ichigo,

I got your picture, and I got your message. I wasn't offended at all. It was actually really flattering, especially coming from such a handsome guy as yourself. You're no slouch in the looks department, either, you know. And to be totally honest with you...I'm hoping you take that the way I meant it.

It had been an incredible leap in the dark, but after seeing Ichigo's picture, he had been helpless to his flirtatious side. Besides, the worst that could happen was an emphatic rejection from Ichigo. What Grimmjow received in return in less than five minutes after he'd sent his message off was:

Uwaaa, Grimmjow, I'm so embarrassed. That's very kind of you. I don't know what to say except that I'm kind of blushing. The way you meant it, you said. ...I suppose I should just go ahead and ask, but I don't want to seem...ah...rude, I guess? I don't know.

Ichigo had ended his message with that, but Grimmjow had already had an idea where the orange-haired man was leading him. Instead of teasing Ichigo with his next message like he'd started to, he'd been encouraging. He'd wanted to see if Ichigo would ask him what Grimmjow already knew the man wanted to know.

You can ask me whatever you want, Ichigo. I won't mind.

It had taken Ichigo about ten minutes to reply, but he had.

Are you interested in men? I mean...as in intimately. Did I use that correctly?

Finally, Grimmjow remembered thinking at the time with a grin. He could still sense Ichigo's nervousness, but he was glad the man had just gone and asked.

I hope you don't mind, but...yes, I am. (And yes, you did. LoL)

His gut had been tied into knots after he'd sent that message. It had been the biggest gamble he'd taken in his life. Ichigo could have just asked him out of curiosity or as a reaction to the message Grimmjow had sent after receiving Ichigo's photo. There was no telling what was on the other man's mind, but it had come down to the moment of truth. He'd been nervous as hell...until:

I feel so much relief! ...So am I. When I told you I was cheated on, I was talking about my ex-boyfriend.

Grimmjow had wanted to dance with excitement, but instead, he'd said:

Lucky me. I hope his loss will be my gain ;)

Sure, he'd felt like a girl with that smiley face thing, but Ichigo's response had made it alright.

I hope so too ^_^

For the rest of the night, he and Ichigo had exchanged message after message, the chef growing more and more bold with his comments. By the time Grimmjow had passed out, it had been well after five in the morning, the sun already on its way up. It was no wonder he'd awakened so late.

"So, yer sayin' there's no breakfast, then," Kenny deadpanned.

Grimmjow shook his head again with another smirk. "Nope. Not from me, anyway."

"Eat some cereal, Kenny. It won't hurt you, you know," Loly chided before slipping towards the doorway. "And don't forget, Grimmy; you're comin' with us to the fair tonight!"

Grimmjow watched her skip out of the room before he turned to his abnormally quiet older brother. Kenny wore a curious expression that made Grimmjow grow defensive.

"What?" he grunted.

Kenny stared a few beats before beaming his shark grin in Grimmjow's direction. "Nothin'. This is gonna be fun."

Like hell, it would. Loly was sending him into battle with no fucking armor to speak of.

XOXOXO

Ichigo couldn't keep a wide smile off of his face all day. Things had changed between him and Grimmjow and definitely for the good. He'd been so anxious after sending the blue-haired man a photo of himself, but the man's response had given him confidence. Though, it had made him blush like the devil at the time. Grimmjow was a sexy man, so for him to compliment Ichigo was indeed a marvel. Somehow, the topic of discussion had turned to an important intrigue, with Ichigo gently asking Grimmjow's sexual preference. Needless to say, when the other man had responded in the affirmative about being sexually inclined towards men, Ichigo had been relieved. In fact, he'd almost melted into his kitchen chair from it.

From there, the flirting and thinly veiled insinuations had begun. Ichigo's face heated as he thought about some of the things he'd written to Grimmjow. He really couldn't wait to meet him now. Somehow, he would make a way to wherever Grimmjow lived, just so he could see the man in person...and maybe more than that.

"Kurosaki-kun, you're in a really good mood!" Inoue chirped, drawing him back to the present. "Did something happen?"

Before Ichigo could get a word out, Renji grinned at him from the stove. "I bet he got laid!"

Ichigo flushed and scowled at his line cook. "No, I didn't! And that's none of your business, anyway!"

"Haha! Don't be such a prude, Taichou! Sex is a beautiful thing!"

Inoue blushed as she turned away from the red head and faced the prep counter. "Abarai-kun is a pervert."

"Better believe it, Toots. Hey, Taichou!"

Ichigo didn't even want to answer the man, but knew that if he didn't, Renji would only become all the more insistent. He rolled his eyes in Renji's direction, face blank.

"What?"

"You top or bottom?"

"That's definitely not your business, you freak! Jesus Christ, Renji! Seriously!"

The line cook cackled like a seasoned witch before giving his attention to the pan he held over the stove. "I'm jus' curious, ya know? Me, personally, I like ta top. Assert my dominance and all that. Get good and deep-"

Inoue whirled and faced Renji as she covered her ears and squealed unintelligibly. Her eyes were huge and horrified...and Ichigo had to laugh at that. It was just too good to pass up. He chuckled, his laughter joined by the brash red head.

"Alright, alright," Renji said as he calmed down. "I'll be good."

"You need a muzzle," Ichigo muttered as he stalked over to the back door. He hung his chef's hat on the coat rack and pushed on the door. "I'm taking fifteen."

Inoue and Renji nodded as Ichigo stepped into the night air. He was a little hot, but his thoughts were focused on his blue-haired pen pal. Grimmjow's looks were breathtaking, but what was even better was the fact that the man thought the same about him. Ichigo grinned as he dug his phone out of the back pocket of his uniform pants. He unlocked the screen and made a beeline for his email application, his grin turning into a full-on, cheesy smile. He had four new emails, and he hoped every one of them was from Grimmjow. Unfortunately, only one was, but that was better than nothing.

How's your day going, Ichigo? Your dad ain't still giving you a hard time, is he? I hope not. I just got up not too long ago. Sorry for falling asleep on you, but I was plum exhausted. We're gonna have to figure out a schedule or something cuz I really liked being able to talk back and forth with you. Kinda got me wondering if there's a way we can speak to each other. Do you know of anything aside from the phone? I know those long distance charges are killer.

Ichigo blushed at the thought of talking to Grimmjow and actually hearing his voice. A man that looked as good as that had to sound amazing as well. At least, that was what he was hoping. He glanced up at the night sky and thought. He wasn't good with social media or anything like that. He knew about Facebook and Instagram, but he didn't have an account for either. Hell, Inoue had been the one to make up a page for the restaurant on Facebook. His face brightened when he thought of his sous-chef. Maybe she knew of a way that he and Grimmjow could talk to one another without sacrificing an arm or a leg when it came to pricing. Deciding to cut his break short, he turned on his heel and reentered the building.

Heat hit him in the face the moment he stepped into the kitchen, but it wasn't an unbearable heat. It was more humid than anything. He grabbed his hat and sauntered over to the prep table, where Inoue was cutting up a pile of vegetables. When she noticed his presence, her swift movements stopped and she turned to him with a cheerful smile.

"Oh, Kurosaki-kun! Back so soon?"

Ichigo nodded as he scratched the tip of his nose. He didn't really want to tell the girl all of his business, but he had to find a way to talk to Grimmjow if it was possible. And he knew for a fact that Inoue would know. She was a total social media addict, always going on about selfies and Youtube challenges. The last challenge she had told him about had raised the hair on the back of his neck.

"I, uh...I wanted to know if you knew of a way to...you know...talk to someone from another country. Without racking up astronomical long distance charges, of course."

There, he'd said it. And he didn't even have to say any names or be specific about it. Inoue arched an eyebrow before turning her eyes up to the ceiling in thought. Before she could respond, Renji's deep voice floated over from the stove area.

"Hohhhh? Got a new beau from overseas, Taichou?"

Ichigo thinned his lips. Leave it to Renji to see right through his innocent line of questioning. He faced the red head with a blank look.

"I did say I want to start a business in America, didn't I? Why's everything gotta be about sex with you, you pervert?" he snapped.

Renji made a guilty face and shrugged, and Ichigo instantly felt bad. Renji had been right on the money, but he didn't want the cretin knowing that. It would only add fuel to the idiot's fire.

"Oh, yeah!" Inoue chirped. "You ever hear of Oovoo, Kurosaki-kun?" Ichigo frowned. Of course not. He shook his head, and Inoue's eyes lit up as she described the application to him. "It's free! You can video chat with whoever you want! You just have to create a username and profile, and bam! You're good to go!"

"Hmm," he noised. "How do I get it?"

"Jeez, Kurosaki-kun, how old are you again?"

Ichigo fought a blush as he grew defensive. "Alright, alright! We all know I'm not up with the times. What do I have to do to get it, Inoue?"

With a sheepish grin, she said, "All you have to do is Google it, and download it from the Oovoo website."

Oh, he could handle that. He knew how to Google shit all day. He smiled and patted her on the shoulder. "Thanks!"

The rest of his shift breezed by since he filled it with cooking and Grimmjow. By the time he glanced at the clock, it was time to go. He helped Inoue and Renji pack up and clean the kitchen, and within the next hour, he was on his way home. He couldn't wait. While he was on the train home, he went into his phone and emailed Grimmjow to let him know that he was onto something that might help them communicate more effectively. Yes, he was nervous as hell about the whole video thing, but if it meant that he could hear what Grimmjow sounded like, then he was all for it.

I think I found something. Well, I didn't find it. My friend found it for me (I suck at computer stuff). It's called Oovoo, and she said it's free. Do you know it?

There. He hoped Grimmjow was still awake. It would be so awesome to be able to chat with him that very evening. He started playing Flappy Bird – something Renji had gotten him hopelessly addicted to. There was nothing spectacular about the game; heck, it wasn't even all that fun. The thing was: Ichigo could never resist a challenge, and getting that damned bird through those sewer things was a frustrating challenge. Sometimes the bird could seem so inept, it made Ichigo want to tear out his hair and blow-torch his phone. But it kept him busy when he was bored, too. He was just passing his thirtieth sewer pipe when his phone vibrated in his hand. It distracted him so badly, the bird smacked right into the next one. Sucking his teeth, he exited the game application and checked the source of the vibration: his email.

If I can Google it, I'll be able to use it, I think. Let me look it up and let you know.

Ichigo grinned like the Cheshire cat. If Grimmjow found the application that night, then that meant... He couldn't keep still to save his life. He danced from foot to foot while he waited for the train doors to open and allow him to exit. This day just kept getting better and better, and it was almost over. Now he just had to do his part.

XxxxxxX

He rushed into his apartment and went straight for his laptop that was still on the kitchen table. He didn't bother with changing out of his uniform; he'd barely stopped to kick off his shoes. He opened up the computer and started it up, anxiety winding through him like a rushing river. He tapped the tabletop with his short nails as his knees bounced up and down. He'd never really paid much mind to how long it took his laptop to boot up, but now that he was on pins and needles, it seemed to take forever. Finally, it chimed, so he entered his password. The screen came to life, showing the plain blue background he'd never figured out how to change. He immediately went to his Internet browser, thankful that his homepage was set to the Google search engine already. He typed the word "oovoo" in the search bar and hit enter, his heart pounding. He couldn't calm down.

Suddenly, it popped up. OoVoo Video Chat. And look at that: the download option was right there in his face. That made things much easier. He clicked it and waited for it to download into the browser. Once it did, he clicked that and waited again. Shiro had walked him through downloading things from the Internet, so he wasn't completely lost when that little box popped up asking him if he wanted to make changes to his computer. He hit yes and wiggled in his seat. The grin he wore was probably creepy as all get-out. Good thing he was home alone.

It took a while for him to walk through the installation process, but he figured it out. He was proud of himself, too. The technical jargon the computer spat at him almost made him panic, but after taking his time and reading through it, he got the gist of it. Just as he was setting up his profile and picking out a username, his cell phone vibrated on the wooden kitchen table, making him nearly jump out of his seat. He glared at it before realizing that it could only be one thing. He snatched it up and checked the email he knew would be waiting for him.

Hey! I found it! It was easy to set up too! I don't know if you need help with it or anything, but let me know. If not, my name there is GrimmKid616. I can talk now if you want.

Ichigo felt like his heart couldn't beat much faster or harder than it was at that very moment. This was it. He was going to talk to Grimmjow...and see him, at that. He sat back from the computer as he set his phone back on the table. He had to take a few deep breaths. He was so excited and anxious, he felt like he was close to hyperventilating. He shook his hands a few times, trying to calm the shaking in them.

Get it together. You can do this.

After one last breath, he leaned forward and finished entering the information necessary to build his account. Once he was done, he picked up his phone.

I just finished making my account. Uwaaa, I'm kind of nervous. Ah, you may have to find me because I don't really know what I'm doing with this. I just followed the directions to make the account, but to make a video call...I'm at a loss. My name is IronChefIchigo.

And he waited. This was actually happening. He didn't want to dwell on it for too long because he'd start losing his cool all over again, but it was damned hard. After ten minutes squeezed by, he frowned. Had Grimmjow changed his mind? He hoped not. Not after all the anticipation he'd stacked up. He was considering sending the blue-haired man another email when his phone vibrated. Disappointed, he picked it up and checked the screen.

It says you ain't signed in. LoL, you gotta sign in for me to be able to talk to you, Ichigo.

Ichigo cringed with shame before he glared at the computer screen. He felt like he'd been betrayed by the damned thing. However, he slowly perused the page and smirked when he found the log in boxes. He entered his information, and lo and behold, he was suddenly active on ooVoo. Almost immediately, a name popped up in a box off to the side of the screen. His blush was unavoidable when he recognized the name Grimmjow had given him not too long ago. GrimmKid616. Ichigo chuckled, but his body froze when a giant box popped up in the middle of the screen, telling him that he had a video call from GrimmKid616. As much as he'd tried keeping his heart rate under control, the instant he saw Grimmjow's username, all of that was shot to Hell. His heart went bananas, beating out of control. It felt like it was in the back of his throat and his hands had gone clammy. He was so nervous!

He ran a hand through his hair – as if that would change its sorry state – and inwardly scolded himself for not changing out of his uniform. His chef's shirt was covered with various stains of various colors, but what could he do now? He took a deep breath and hit the connect button. The screen shifted, and the dark background morphed into an interesting-looking room.

Ichigo didn't see the room at all once he focused on the man looking into the screen at him. Rather the camera, he supposed. Blue eyes were intense and curious, and Ichigo was speechless. He gaped with his lips parted as he did nothing but breathe for a while. Finally, Grimmjow sat back and folded his arms across his chest with a sideways grin that made Ichigo want to sigh. The man looked even better than he had in his photo. He wasn't wearing a hat this time around, so Ichigo was able to take in the full sight of that head of bright-blue hair. It was messy, but cool, and he had long, unruly sideburns. He was wearing a white t-shirt that hugged his torso like a dream. Ichigo couldn't keep his eyes from straying down the man's chest to his clearly rippling abdomen. And his arms were just ridiculous: strong-looking and muscular and just... Then, Ichigo tuned into the sound. He heard shuffling as Grimmjow adjusted his computer screen – he must've been using a laptop as well. Ichigo reached forward and made sure the sound on his own laptop was at max volume. He wanted to hear everything.

At long last, Grimmjow was the one to end the stalemate. "So...it's nice ta see ya, Ichigo."

If he was red as freshly spilled blood, he wouldn't be at all surprised. He wasn't prepared for the reaction that Grimmjow's voice caused in him. The blue-haired man's slow, English drawl made Ichigo's toes literally curl. Not to mention, another part of his anatomy started paying very close attention. The man's voice was a deep tenor: sexy and unhurried. Ichigo swallowed the lump forming in his throat. He could do this. He'd never behaved so uncoolly in his life. He ran a hand through his hair and smiled, not realizing that it came across as shy.

"Ah...you too, Grimmjow."

"Wow. Not that it wasn' hot an' all, but I didn' understand a word you said. 'Cept my name, a'course."

Ichigo frowned before Grimmjow's meaning sunk in. He slapped his forehead and chuckled, completely embarrassed. His mouth hadn't managed to catch up with his mind just yet, so he'd ended up speaking in his native tongue.

"Haha, gomen. Ah, I mean, sorry. I have to get used to speaking English with you. It's much easier to write."

Grimmjow's grin was unfair. "Don' worry 'bout it. So, what're ya up to? Looks like yer jus' comin' home from work."

Ichigo glanced down at his chef's shirt with a grimace. "Ah, yes. I didn't get to change yet. And you?"

"I woke up a few hours ago, ended up makin' breakfast for my brother an' sister. Now, I'm talkin' ta you. Finally."

Ichigo didn't think his blush could be anymore humiliating. His ears, neck and face were hot like molten silver. Everything Grimmjow did was an aphrodisiac. All the man had to do was sit there, and Ichigo was ready to jump through the screen. He couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't be the only one feeling this way, right?

"I didn't think seeing you would make me this nervous," he mumbled as he rubbed the back of his neck. He glanced up at the screen with a sideways smirk. "You look fine."

Grimmjow chuckled, the low laughter rolling like an undulating wave. Ichigo hid a shudder. "I'm good at not showin' my hand, Ichigo. If it'll make ya feel better, though, I'm kinda nervous myself. But I like lookin' at ya, so I'll be alright."

Before Ichigo realized it, he said, "I can't stop looking at you. I can't even believe someone like you is real. You look like a model."

Good fucking grief, but he was rambling like an idiot.

Grimmjow hooted with laughter, his eyes crinkling in the corners, and his teeth sparkling. "No way. Don' let my sister hear ya say that. She might get some crazy ideas. She already thinks we're gonna be best girlfriends."

Ichigo chuckled this time. "Your sister sounds scary."

"Tell me about it. Hey, I'm not keepin' ya up past yer bedtime, am I?"

"What, am I a boy now? I make my own bedtime."

"Oh, 'scuze me. So, what d'ya usually do at this time?"

Ichigo shrugged and leaned back in his seat, slowly becoming more comfortable. "Grab a beer. Maybe fix a snack and watch a movie. Or if I'm tired, I sleep. You? Don't you work at this time?"

Grimmjow nodded and unfolded his arms. Ichigo watched as the man grabbed the computer and rested it on his stomach while he lay back against a few pillows. Those arms went behind his head before Grimmjow said, "I do, but I got the day off. Loly's makin' me go ta that stupid fair later, so I need some time ta myself ta prepare."

"Is it that bad?" Ichigo asked through a chortle. "You make it sound so terrible."

"Well, I ain't attracted ta ladies, but that don' keep 'em from bein' attracted ta me. S'annoyin' as hell," Grimmjow drawled as he closed his eyes.

Ichigo took that time to study the man's face. Everything about him was just perfect. He really did seem like an actor or something. While Ichigo was having his fill of Grimmjow's stunning looks, Grimmjow's eyes had reopened and were focused on the screen. After a few quiet moments, Ichigo realized he was being watched in return.

"Ya really make me wish there weren't miles and miles of water and land between us right now. I dunno if I'd be able ta behave if there wasn't."

Ichigo flushed yet again. He'd almost forgotten how incredibly blunt Grimmjow was. But...he couldn't deny that he was feeling the exact same way. He was pretty certain that if they were in the same room at that moment, things would move very quickly.

"I think so, too."

He decided to stop right there before he said something that would have him writhing with lust. It was bad enough already without adding more wood to the fire. Literally.

They stared at one another some more, Ichigo trying his hardest not to squirm in his seat. He was trying to avoid what was happening between his legs, but it was inevitable. He placed an arm over his lap in order to distract himself, and Grimmjow grinned.

"Yer blushin' like crazy, ya know that?"

Oh, yes. He most definitely did know that. And Grimmjow wasn't helping with his charming drawl and sexy, hooded eyes. Ichigo cleared his throat and averted his gaze. He needed to calm down. Grimmjow had his heart racing and his palms itching. He so wished he could transport or step through the screen like a cartoon.

"I can't help it when you say things like that."

"Things like what?" Grimmjow asked. His voice was innocent, but the amused gleam in his blue eyes told a different story. "Like how much I wish I could touch ya right now?"

Ichigo closed his eyes. He was a lost cause. His uniform pants tightened across the lap as he stared at his tormentor. And then he realized that he could fight fire with fire.

He lowered his voice a few octaves and peered at the man from under hooded eyelids and long lashes. "Yes. Your voice gives me goosebumps," he murmured.

The change in the blue-haired man went from teasing to predatory in the blink of an eye. Grimmjow's jaw clenched as he closed his eyes. When they opened, the irises were blazing like blue fire. Grimmjow snorted, his voice coming out like a roll of distant thunder.

"I know somethin' else that'll give ya goosebumps."

Ichigo had to fight back a quiet groan.

Heaven help him.

Well...thank you for reading! Would love to hear your thoughts on the chapter! P.S. I didn't proofread this, so again, please forgive any errors!