A/N: This cold weather has inspired me! Unfortunately, I think this story is going to be way shorter than "Then Came You", mainly because I only planned for a couple of chapters. This story is not a continuation of "Then Came You". It is a completely different story altogether, and the characters will be slightly OOC. Please read & review!
Feeling the rush of the wind against his body, Zack felt the familiar blast of adrenaline whip through his system, and grinned. God, I love snowboarding! Zack thought to himself.
High up in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, Zack felt invincible. He and Cody had been planning this snowboarding trip for a while now, ever since they graduated from Seven Seas High. But with their busy lives, they never had the opportunity to go. As little boys, their mom would take them snowboarding all the time, but snowboarding was practically non-existent while they were in high school.
After graduation, Cody went off to Yale, while Zack stayed in Boston. He stayed with his mom at the Tipton, pretty much sulking around the hotel, bummed because Maya broke up with him, not knowing what to do with his life. After a few months of that, he finally decided to enroll in the community college. After he got his associate's degree, and wanting a change of scenery, he transferred to Cal State Los Angeles. Zack graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, much to Mr. Mosby's surprise. This snowboarding trip was in celebration of his college graduation the summer before. Cody was actually still in school, taking his graduate courses, and ultimately his doctorial courses, so he was just on a winter break at the moment.
As Zack reached the bottom of the mountain, he noticed Cody un-strapping his boots from his snowboard.
"Hey, you're done for the day?"
"Yeah, I'm going to go check on Bailey. I didn't see her skiing, so I want to make sure she's okay."
"Dude, she's probably tired from all the skiing she did yesterday and is just relaxing back at the lodge. I think she'll be okay without you for another hour."
"I know, but I want to check on her anyway. I think she's a little upset that I've been snowboarding so much and not spending quality time with her. We've both been pretty busy with school, and these breaks mean a lot to us. You'll understand when you have a serious relationship again."
"Not going to happen," Zack grumbled. Ever since Maya broke up with him, Zack pretty much went back to his old ways of dating girls here and there, but never being serious with any of them. At the moment, he wasn't seeing anyone, but he noticed a couple of cute girls eyeing him at the lodge.
"Anyway, I'm taking off. You're okay, right?"
"Yeah, if Woody ever gets off of the kiddy slopes, then I'll have someone to snowboard with."
After a couple of hours of snowboarding, Zack and Woody called it a day and headed back to the lodge.
"Oooh! I can't wait to get my hands around a nice, hot pizza!" Woody exclaimed.
Chuckling, Zack said, "Well, I can't wait to get my arm around a nice, hot snow bunny!"
Pulling open the door to the ski lodge, Zack looked around, trying to see if he could spot any of the girls he saw earlier, but no such luck. He did spot Cody & Bailey sitting together on a couch talking to a girl who was seated across from them. Since the girl was facing Cody & Bailey, she had her back towards Zack, so he couldn't figure out who she was as he and Woody approached the group.
"Hey Guys, guess who we ran into," Cody said as he noticed Zack & Woody.
At that moment, the girl turned her head back to look at Zack & Woody, and Zack felt a weird squeezing sensation in his chest as he recognized the girl.
How long has it been? Six years? He hadn't seen her since she left the country after high school. She looked amazing as usual. He couldn't help but stare at her and notice all of the changes time brought. She was no longer the young girl he remembered – she was now a young woman. She had always been slender yet curvy, but she seemed to carry herself more confidently now than when she was in high school, if that was even possible. He also forgot how pretty she was, and he was thanking his lucky stars that he was currently single. Why hadn't he ever asked her out before? Oh, that's right, she always thought of him as a kid. Well, he wasn't a kid anymore.
As they continued to stare at each other, her lips lifted into a smile, and Zack felt the warmth of that smile all the way down to his toes.
"Hey Zack," she said softly.
"London!" Zack exclaimed.
Getting out of her seat to give Zack & Woody a hug, London couldn't help but notice how much Zack had changed. Sure, she had been sitting and talking to his identical twin for the past hour, but the changes in Zack were more profound than the changes in Cody. They had both been on the skinny side when they were in high school, Cody more so than Zack. Now that six years had passed, Cody remained on the skinny side, while Zack filled out in a good way. His shoulders were broader, and despite wearing his snowboarding gear, London could tell that he had packed on some good, lean muscle on his frame. Remembering that she was three years older than the twins, London realized that Zack was now 24 and no longer a kid.
"I'm starving! Does anyone want to go get a pizza with me?" Woody asked as Zack sat in the chair next to London.
"Nah, I'm good," Bailey said.
"No, thanks, Woodster," Zack said.
"Woody, how many times do I have to remind you that pizza is not part of the food pyramid," Cody exclaimed.
"Sorry, I'm not hungry, Woody," London said.
"Fine, but just so you know, I'm not bringing you guys any leftovers!" Woody said as he walked away.
"He's just like I remembered him," London said fondly.
"So, who are you here with? When did you get here?" Zack asked her.
Turning her attention to Zack, London felt an electrical current run through her as their eyes connected. That's weird. That didn't happen with Cody. London thought to herself.
"I'm actually here with a bachelorette party. We just flew in this morning."
"Really? Who's getting married? Anyone we know?"
London hesitated before answering Zack. She didn't know much about his past relationships, and she didn't want to bring up any bad memories for him. But she was also curious about how he would react to her answer. Funny, she had never been curious about Zack before, but suddenly she found that his reaction would matter a lot to her.
"Um, do you remember Maya Bennett? She's marrying Lance."
There was a tense moment of silence, and London was aware of the twinge of disappointment she felt realizing that Zack wasn't responding positively. She could see it in his eyes, though his words said the opposite.
"That's great! So, Maya's here with you?" Zack asked a little too intently for London's liking.
"Yeah, she's with the other girls getting ready for tonight. I was headed up to my room when I bumped into Bailey. Did you want to go up and say hi?" London asked, again observing Zack's reaction to her suggestion.
"It's cool. I'll just say hi if I bump into her. How long are you guys staying?"
Feeling somewhat relieved that Zack wasn't chomping at the bit to see Maya, London relaxed in her chair and said, "We're just staying for the weekend. Too bad I'm here with the bachelorette party because I would really like to just hang out with you guys and catch up. I'm not sure of the 'schedule', so I don't know when I'll have free time, but I'm in suite 317 and you guys are more than welcome to hang out in my suite. Also, my suite is connected to Maya's in case you guys wanted to go up and say hi."
"What are you girls doing tonight?" Bailey asked.
"Oh, you know, the usual bachelorette party stuff," London said casually, "Which reminds me, I better go up and start getting ready."
As London stood up, the rest of the group stood up as well, so she gave each of them another hug. When did I become so huggy? London asked herself. When she turned to give Zack his hug, and when she felt his arms wrap around her, she felt tingles run all throughout her body. As she stepped away from him, she looked into his eyes to see if he felt those weird tingles too. She noticed that as he stared down at her he had a little smile, like he knew what she felt and was amused.
Quickly letting go of Zack, London cleared her throat and said, "Well, I'll see you guys around. Hopefully my morning will be free so we could at least have breakfast together!"
London walked to the elevators but turned her head back to look at Zack again and she saw that he was staring back at her, with that same amused smile.