By: S.C. Stephens

He was standing in his doorway, yawning lazily and scratching his bare chest. Apparently, he preferred sleeping in just his boxer shorts. I couldn't help but to be momentarily distracted by the sight of him. A nights rest hadn't affected his messy hair negatively at all; it looked downright delicious, going every which way. His body was mostly taking up my attention however. It was as fabulous as I had suspected. Where Denny's body was great, Kellan's was just ridiculous. He was tall, maybe a good half-foot taller than Denny, and his muscles were long and lean, like a runner's, I suppose. And they were very clearly defined. I could have taken a marker and etched every single line.

He was,

His eyes, an impossibly deep shade of blue, sparkled at me, as he cocked his head slightly to the side in a distractingly charming way. "You must be Kiera." His voice was low and slightly husky from just waking up.

Embarrassment flashed through me as I realized that our first meeting wasn't that far from how I feared it would be. At least we were both dressed, sort of. Mentally chastising myself for not putting the tank top and lounge pants I had slept in back on before leaving the bathroom, I awkwardly extended a hand to him in some feeble attempt at formality.

I mumbled, "Yes...hi."

An adorable half-smile appeared on his face as he shook my hand. He seemed to find great humor in my reaction. He also didn't seem bothered in the slightest that he was hardly dressed decently, and neither was I. I felt a blush coming and desperately wanted to flee to my room. I had no idea how to politely get out of this odd meeting though.

"You're Kellan?" Obviously he was...only three of us were living here.

"Mmmm..." He nodded in acknowledgement, still watching me closely. A little closer than I was comfortable having a strange man stare at me while I was half naked.

"Sorry about the water. I think I used all of the hot side." I turned to find our doorknob, hoping he would take the hint.

"No problem, I'll just use it tonight, before I leave."

I wondered briefly where he was going, but instead mumbled, "See you later then," and dashed back into my room. I thought I heard a soft chuckle behind me as I closed the door.

Well, that was mortifying. I guess it could have gone worse. Ugh, that's exactly why I hate meeting people for the first time. I tend to come out of those meetings looking like an idiot, and today was no exception. Denny claimed our first meeting had been endearing. My memory attached a different word to it. I dreaded just how often I was going to have to do this in the coming months. At least for those meetings, I would have more clothes on...I hoped.

I laid my head back against the closed door and waited for the embarrassment to fade.

"You okay?" Denny's clear, accented voice poked through my thoughts. I cracked my eyes open and saw him propped up on his elbow, watching me curiously. He still looked tired and I hoped I hadn't awoken him.

"Just meeting our new roommate," I explained sullenly.

Denny knew me so well, that he wasn't too surprised at my reaction over something so small. He knew how embarrassed I would be, over running into someone I didn't know in only a thin towel.

"Ah, come here." He opened his arms to me and I eagerly crawled back into bed.

I snuggled my back deeply into his warm, comforting embrace and his arms tightly cinched around me, pulling me close. He tenderly kissed my damp head and then let out a long sigh. "Are you sure about this, Kiera?"

I reached back and playfully smacked him on the shoulder. "We're already here. Isn't it a little late for that?" I moved so I could look at his face. "I am NOT driving back," I teased him.

He smiled a little, but his face was serious. "I know what you gave up for me by coming here - your family, your home. I'm not blind, I know you miss it. I just want to make sure that this is worth it for you?"

I placed my hand gently on his cheek. "Don't. Don't ever question that. Of course I miss my family, miss them terribly. But you are worth it, you're worth anything." My fingers gently stroked his cheek. "I love you. I want to be where you are."

He smiled in earnest. "Forgive me, for being a little sappy here, but you...are my heart. I love you too." And then he kissed me deeply and started to un-wrap the suddenly bulky towel from around my waist.

I had to remind myself over and over that the walls were very thin...

Chapter 2


After awhile, Denny and I came down the stairs holding hands. It was almost like we were teenagers in puppy love. We were both thoroughly enjoying finally living together. I told Denny what we looked like, and we were both laughing as we rounded the corner into the kitchen.

The second thing I'd noticed about this house, right after taking in the small size of it, was how sparse on decorations it was. It was clearly evident that it was simply a place to sleep at night. A guy's pad. I was definitely going to have to do some shopping soon. It was just way too barren for any girl to leave alone for long, even me.

The kitchen was pretty decently sized, considering. The far wall had a long counter ending in a refrigerator. The opposite wall was half the length with a stove and microwave above it, and on the left of the stove, another short counter with a coffee pot full of freshly brewed coffee, the smell emanating from it making my mouth water. The back portion of the room had a moderately sized table with four chairs and a large window that overlooked the postage-stamp backyard.

The space in-between the short wall and the windowed-wall opened up to the living room and Kellan was walking through it. He was holding the morning paper and reading the folded front page. He was already dressed for the day in shorts and a short-sleeve tee, his wavy hair still messy, but more orderly than earlier... perfect. Even though Kellan was simply dressed, I felt suddenly very plain in my basic jeans and t-shirt. I tightened my hand in Denny's and dealt with it though.

"Hey, man." Denny smiled and went over to Kellan, who looked up at his voice.

"Hey, glad you guys made it!" Kellan smiled back and clasped Denny's shoulder in a quick hug. I smiled slightly too. Guys could be so cute.

With a warm smile in my direction, Denny said, "You already met Kiera, I hear." My smile left me at the memory.

"Yes." Kellan's eyes sparkled...a little too mischievously. "But, nice to see you again." At least he was being polite about it. Still smiling, Kellan walked over to the fresh pot and grabbed some mugs from the cupboard above it. "Coffee?"

"Not for me, no. I don't see how you guys can drink that stuff," Denny said, making a disgusted face. "Kiera loves it though." I nodded in agreement and smiled up at Denny. He didn't even like the smell of coffee. He was more of a tea-guy, which I found completely amusing and adorable.

Denny looked down at me. "Hungry? I think there is still some food in the car."

"Starving." I bit my lip and looked at his beautiful face for a second, then kissed him lightly and playfully smacked him in the stomach. Yeah, we were definitely teenagers in love again.

He gave me a brief peck and then turned to leave. As he moved away, I noticed Kellan behind him, watching us with an amused expression on his face. "Okay, be right back." Denny left the kitchen and I heard him grab his keys from the entryway table, where he'd tossed them last night. The door closed a second later and I marveled at how he wasn't even fazed that he was only wearing the t-shirt and boxers he had slept in.

Smiling, I went to the table to sit and wait for him. Kellan came over a few moments later with two cups of coffee. I made a move to stand up and put cream and sugar in mine, but looking at the coffee more closely, I could see that he already had. How did he know that I liked it that way?

Noticing my puzzled expression, he said, "I brought mine black. I can switch you, if you don't like cream?"

"No, actually I do like it this way." I smiled at him as he sat down. "I thought maybe you could read minds or something."

"I wish," he chuckled, taking a sip of his black coffee.

"Well, thank you." I raised my cup a little and took a sip...heaven.

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