Piper’s phone vibrated on her night stand. She had been asleep, well almost asleep, having woken up early for practice and then spending a full day at school only to come home and have Luanne remind her of her vacuuming duties. A quick afternoon nap before the weekend officially started was exactly what Piper had been looking forward to. Frowning, she reached for her phone but instantly smiled when she saw a message from Alistair.
It’s Friday! What are you doing this weekend?
Piper and Alistair had been texting and talking on the phone for over a month. Their conversations had become more and more flirtatious as the weeks went on and she would have been the first to admit she had legitimate feelings for him. Grinning, she composed her text.
Nothing too exciting. You?
She waited only a few seconds before his reply came through.
Actually, I need your help.
Piper didn’t like the sound of that. They hadn’t mentioned their promise to each other, their breadstick vows, since the night it happened. She knew she would be upset if he had met someone at Harvard. But it wasn’t entirely shocking. He was gorgeous and probably had girls throwing themselves at him everywhere he went.
What seems to be the problem?
I’ve become distracted. I’m thinking about going to see this girl I’ve been talking to.
Piper frowned and opened her phone to call him. “Don’t do it!” She said when he picked up.
Alistair laughed on the other end of the line. “But what if I can’t stop myself? What if this was meant to be?”
Piper rolled her eyes at his sarcasm. “It’s not, believe me.”
“How do you know?”
“Because,” she started without actually having a real answer. Because you should be with me. But she didn’t say it out loud. “Because you’re the one who came up with this idea. You should see it through.”
“A year is such a long time to wait.”
“It’s not that bad,” she sighed, sitting up in bed and swinging her legs onto the floor. “We’ve lasted a month already. Who is this girl, anyway?”
“Well,” Alistair said, his voice becoming excited. “She’s tall and absolutely gorgeous. She flirts with me all the time and has the most contagious laugh I’ve ever heard.”
“Sounds like a fucking bitch to me,” Piper said with a smile as she held the phone against her ear, slipping into her jeans as she spoke.
Alistair laughed. “She’s not that bad.”
“I’m just trying to help,” Piper pointed out. “You sound like you’re walking somewhere. Please don’t tell me you’re going to see her right now.”
“Hmmm, yep. I’ve made up my mind.”
“You are such a disappointment.”
Alistair laughed again and Piper heard a knock on her door.
“Hold on. Don’t do anything yet,” she instructed him. “Someone’s at my door.” She held her phone down at her side as she left her room and walked quickly through the common area. Luanne’s door was closed but she knew the girl was inside. Apparently she assumed nobody would be coming to see her.
The person on the other side of the door knocked again, louder this time, as Piper neared. It was probably someone for Nikki, she thought to herself as she opened it, but her mouth dropped and then was pulled into a girlish smile when she saw Alistair standing outside her room, a single champagne colored rose in his hand. He was even better looking than she had remembered. His eyes were the deepest color of blue and his ashy hair was fixed into a messy part. And then there was his smile. Piper nearly swooned when she saw his dimples, his full lips pulled into a devilish smirk.
“What are you doing here?” She asked, unable to wipe the smile from her face.
“My last class was cancelled today and I wanted to see you again,” Alistair answered quickly. He had wanted to say something clever but nothing witty came to mind as he looked at Piper. Her long hair was tangled and her clothes were wrinkled, she looked like she had just woken up. But her eyes were shining like emeralds and her cheeks were a delicate shade of pink. She was gorgeous.
“I’m glad you’re here,” she said with a smile and opened the door a little wider so Alistair could step inside. “Do Sterling and Laila know you drove down?”
Alistair shook his head, still looking at Piper. “No.”
“Oh.” Piper blushed, realizing he had driven all this way just to see her. Suddenly she felt her phone in her hand and realized she still had it opened. Clumsily, she shut it and glanced at Alistair from behind her eyelashes. He was still smiling at her and her heart fluttered in her chest.
“I was hoping we could go out. Just the two of us.”
“I’d like that,” Piper answered with a shy grin, remembering everything Alistair had just said about her on the phone: gorgeous, a contagious laugh, and flirts with him all the time. She knew the last part to be shamelessly true.
There was an awkward pause where they both just stared at each other with smiles on their faces, waiting for the other to speak. After a short moment, they both started laughing and Alistair handed Piper the rose he had brought for her.
“Thanks,” she smiled and took it from him. “I guess I should go change.”
Alistair nodded and watched as Piper practically skipped away toward her bedroom. He stole a glance inside as she was closing the door. He could see magazines on her nightstand, clothes on her floor and an unmade bed. It looked nearly identical to his dorm room.
Piper was in a daze as she picked through the clean clothes still in her basket from last night’s run to the Laundromat. Alistair was wearing jeans and a t-shirt so she could only assume she should dress casually as well. Casual but hot. She needed to look hot. Quickly, she exchanged her sports bra for a satiny pink pushup one that made her cleavage look its best. She threw on a low cut sweater and slipped her feet into her favorite pair of flip flops. Her hair was pulled into a messy ponytail and she applied a clear gloss to her lips before digging her purse out from under her school books.
“You look great,” Alistair said as she entered the common room.
Piper blushed and smiled. Things had become so easy for them while they were texting and speaking on the phone that she was surprised to find how awkward their interactions were now they were face to face.
“So where are we going?” She asked as they walked out into the cool afternoon air. She locked her door behind her and turned to find Alistair standing unbearable close to her. She longed to touch him, to hold his hand, to hug him. But she didn’t know how he would react. She didn’t know what their relationship was or where it was going.
“Roller skating?” Piper laughed as they started to walk to his car.
Alistair knew it sounded ridiculous. He knew it was childish and probably the worst date idea ever. But dinner seemed to cliché and he wouldn’t be able to talk to her at the movies. So roller skating was the next best idea that popped into his mind as he drove down from Boston.
“I haven’t been roller skating since my 9th birthday,” Piper said thoughtfully. Their fingers brushed as they walked side by side and Alistair suddenly felt an overwhelming need to touch her. They had been texting and talking for so long, he felt as though he knew her so well. Never before had he known a girl emotionally without first knowing her physically. His relationship with Piper, however it would be defined as of this moment, hadn’t started with a drunken kiss, a lustful night spent together. It had started with a crush, a conversation, a playful promise made between two people who barely knew each other. And now he was completely smitten. She was all he thought about. He would look forward to her calls every day, would wake up hoping to find a text message from her. Distracting didn’t even begin to describe her effect on him.
“I’ve never been,” Alistair admitted, hoping their hands would touch again.
“Never?” Piper exclaimed in disbelief. “How is that possible?”
Alistair grinned at her and shrugged. “I wasn’t invited to those birthday parties.”
Piper laughed and linked arms with him causing his pulse to start racing. “You can hold on to me until you get the hang of it,” she promised.
They were already to his car but Alistair couldn’t bear the thought of letting go of her arm. Holding her hand at the roller skating rink, touching the small of her back as he opened doors, it wasn’t going to be enough for him and he knew the anticipation of kissing her would climb to an unbearable level before the night was through. So instead of unlocking his car and letting her climb in, he turned to face her, his nerves almost causing his hands to shake.
“Piper, I…” But he couldn’t finish his sentence. He didn’t know where to start.
“What’s up?” She asked casually, flashing her gorgeous smile at him.
Alistair took a deep breath. “There’s something I need to do before we leave.”
“Oh. Okay.” She looked confused. “Do you want me to wait here?”
Now it was Alistair’s turn to smile. He nodded his head as his hands reached for her face. “Just stand right there. Don’t move.”
Piper blushed but managed to smile back. She knew what was coming as Alistair’s fingers gently brushed across her cheeks and he lowered his face to hers. Kissing Alistair had been the focal point of many daydreams over the past few weeks but never had she imagined herself being so nervous. She closed her eyes as his face drew near, their lips just barely touching as they tested the waters of their new intimacy. But they both smiled at the initial touch, the sensation as comfortable as it was exciting. Soon, Alistair’s lips were completely pressed to hers, his hands moving from her face and to the back of her neck as he pulled her closer.
Alistair was amazed at how natural their kiss felt. He hadn’t kissed a girl in months and that kiss had meant so little yet caused so much damage. He had struggled with his feelings for Piper, not knowing if he was ready to move on from Rebecca, not knowing if Rebecca would like the idea of Piper and Alistair together. But after weeks of debate, he had come to the conclusion that if Piper wasn’t meant to be in his life, he would have forgotten about her by now. So he let his feelings solidify and promised himself to honor Rebecca’s memory by treating Piper the way he should have treated every girl before her, the way he should have treated Rebecca.
The sensual way Piper’s lips were moving against his was only justifying his decision. This felt right. It felt amazing and if he hadn’t heard a car engine start from somewhere behind them, he may have forgotten they weren’t alone. Smiling against her lips, he slowly pulled away and made sure to open his eyes before she did. She looked perfect, her lips slightly swollen from the kiss, the light blush on her cheeks, her long eye lashes fanning softly over her lids.Too soon, her eyes fluttered open and she smiled at him.
“Wow,” she said quietly. “That was quite a first kiss.”
Alistair grinned at her and winked. “That’s just how I roll.”
Piper laughed and rolled her eyes. “Yeah, well, we’ll see if you’re still this smooth at the skating rink.”
“I can tell you right now that I won’t be,” Alistair laughed with her and unlocked his car, holding the door for her as she gracefully slipped inside. She smiled up at him as the door closed, knowing things would no longer be awkward, knowing they were going to have a great evening and knowing they now had found a wonderful loophole to their vow of no distractions.
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