I don't know what we were supposed to be at times, and I think about it now, him now, warm and safe, wrapped in his arms. The tough guy on campus with a tightly locked heart and an easy smirk.

He shifts me, taller than me, his large hands on my hips to move me from where I'm stretched and wrapped around him like a skin tight blanket. He thinks I'm asleep, tucked up in his bed, a mattress on the floor of his bedroom in his shared house. His large hand smoothes over my hair and then the mattress shifts and his weight is gone and I roll into the spot he was just in, wrapping the sheets tightly about myself to wait until he gets back. Seeping in the heat he'd left in his absence, trying to stave off the chill that came with his action.

My thoughts break away from that and return to him. At my metric college he is the ultimate untouchable. He's tall and rangy with broad shoulders and narrow hips. His favorite things to wear were skate pants, converses and some band t-shirt with a pick of the bracelets and necklaces and chokers that are spread over a whole book shelf within the room I'm lying in. His lip is pierced to the right and there is a beaded hoop through his right eyebrow arch, a single piercing in his tongue. His black hair with its sloping down to his chin fringe and dark mocha brown eyes that can tell you he's either disappointed in you, serious or… I could feel my cheeks heating as I wormed my way further into the blankets. Let's just not go there, shall we?

He's serious a lot of the time, playful some of it. He says those three words I'm so scared of some of the time to remind me he does and he isn't going anywhere and that I'm not going any where without him. He's sort of my medium I guess.

I can talk a mile a minute when I'm nervous, anxious or with someone I'm comfortable with, or else I'm a complete clam up only letting random thought escape my brain that inevitably connects to my mouth. Some people look at him and I know they think 'delinquent' but then they look at me and sneer to because of how I dress.

I'm five foot nine, a few inches under his six two or six one height. My hair touches my elbows, blonde, sort of dark and sort of light. It depends on what it feels like doing. My eyes are either a dark or light blue, they're like my hair, they won't make up their mind. I'm freckled from my younger days of running and being in the sun so they stand out in my pale to medium toned skin. I live in jeans and sweatshirts, mostly his actually, with my dark eye makeup, bracelets and necklaces of my own. And I'm mildly sarcastic and bitchy; he's quiet and can be bitingly sharp at times.

He's not leader of his group, but when he talks people listen and when he tells them to shut up, they do.

My friends had stopped noticing me, they didn't notice how quiet I'd gotten, how much I wasn't around. They did notice my transition to different clothes, to a slightly different, darker look in makeup and then they started ignoring me. I'd sit down and they just wouldn't talk to me beyond the short hello, the polite inquiry of 'how are you?' but I knew how they were looking at me and snubbing me because apparently I'd become one of them and then that was it.

Nada, zip, zilch.

So I'd read in the art rooms from there on until the mid year rush of art students started pushing for room. Then I sat in the library in a shadowy corner and became focused on everything but my flailing social life.

But someone had invaded my personal little corner a few weeks after my own being there. He'd moved his way in and sat there and of course he didn't say anything, just sat there.

After about two weeks of this, the worst thing happened. My ipod broke.

I'm a music junkie, it's like my nirvana. Take it away and I'll be cranky and bitchy for the rest of the day. So as I sat there cursing the goddamn stupid thing that was my ipod, someone sat beside me and then I found a white earbud being offered to me.

It was him. In all his pierced and bad boy glory offering me an inlet to music.

I'd smiled a little, my first real smile in weeks and took the offered earbud.

He actually had the same taste in music as I did which was a relief, he did have one hidden song that I found after a week of sharing the ipod and it made me laugh. That's when he'd turned it off, looked at me and smiled and my heart had stopped. That had taken me by surprise.

He was gorgeous, the epitome of beautiful in my eyes. I knew that his sitting next to me wouldn't last long. What kind of guy like that, sits with the loner girl like me? Those stories are so cliché and old that I read them and eventually get sick of the plot lines, because while I loved them I knew in real life, it was just a fairy tale. Just like those close knit friends that do everything together, tell each other everything and stuff like that. It hurt to read about that kind of stuff. About families that are sort of dysfunctional but are working through it. Mine is dysfunctional, a lot dysfunctional actually. My brother has this ego thing and doesn't like me at all really, my mom worked her way through a succession of bad boyfriends slash partners and now has a partner that wants to kick me out of the house and my dad thinks I am still incapable of walking by myself and that I'm basically three years old. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Get sort of what I mean?

And lots of girls like him, they think he's hot but they'll never say it out loud because they're to busy being discriminatory towards him. Towards me. Towards his group that I hang out with because I am his.

We don't talk about that part to much.

But after that little heart stopping moment he'd looked at me still with that small half smile and arched a brow in graceful way I'd never be able to manage. "You've never heard of Mika?"

I'd smiled, a tiny little smile because his was so beautiful that I couldn't not smile at it, he had a single dimple in his right cheek and the smile said he didn't do it much, but he did it when he was amused enough to. "I have heard of Mika but I didn't pin you for the soprano male singer type guy."

"Shouldn't judge so quickly," his lips had quirked, dimple flashing and then the smile dropped. He was serious looking at that stage, "so you like the rest of the music?"

I'd quirked my lips and then hid the smile that was sure to break out at that single fitting dimple, "yes. You have good taste."

He'd smiled a little then and then the music had clicked back on and I'd been returned to my solace, knees pulled to my chest and this time when his arm brushed against mine on the backs of our chairs I hadn't pulled away.

The forth week of him sitting in our corner, I'd transitioned from calling it my corner and somehow it became ours, and I was stuck on a question on my homework. I'd stopped reading it halfway through as it was so annoying and boring that more interesting things were outside the window and I just really didn't want to do it. At some stage my pacer had started tapping out a rhythm on my forehead and I'd been so engrossed in it. The tap-tap-tappity-tap-tap tap that I'd almost leapt out of my skin at someone's hand landing on my forehead, muffling the tap of the mechanical pencil against a long fingered pianist hand, with fine cords and sinew.

I'd blinked and tilted my head back to look up at his face where it was right by mine. His beautiful face that made my stomach clench and wrench each time he sat down next to me. Each time I thought of him and then chastised myself because I would not let myself get caught up in them because they didn't exist. It could never happen no matter what my mind thought. Because half my brain was fighting getting a crush while the other half was fully there.

"Stuck?" he'd asked.

"Yeah," wow, see? Terrific mind there I managed a syllable. I am so awesome.

No really, you didn't have to scoff.

He'd sat beside me, looked over my shoulder and then helped me work though it. Taking away my distractions while still keeping his hand on mine, from where he'd enveloped it around my dwarfed attachment, stretched out on the desk of the carrel right before us.

I can feel him now. The mattress dips again with his weight and I shift slightly, eyes closed and reach for him. I can hear his low chuckle, the murmur of approval escapes my lips before I can stop it and then I'm wrapped back up in him, his own murmur of approval in my ear. Nose pressed the hollow of his throat and his hand resting just beneath the waistband of my candy striped pajama bottoms, his thumb and forefinger resting in the two indentations on either side of my spine.

His breath is warm. He is warm, he makes me warm yet I still hold back those words.

Maybe it's my old fear settling in, don't get attached they'll just go away, leave you. Don't throw yourself the whole way in otherwise it hurts more. Its this mental barrier I always slam up against because some part of me wants to break free, while another part locks it down, bars it off, because it can't be real. Because fairy tales don't happen to average people, average looking, average grades, average everything because those stupid books fucking lie.

I'm scared of it, of the whole emotion, of everything to do with it, so I close myself off because while I want it so much I know it doesn't belong to me. That it can't belong to me. It doesn't happen to people like me. But I wish it would. But I wouldn't push it, it as to be a double effort because I was to broken to make it by myself. My soul and mind too fragile and empty and my heart too broken, though never by a boy. I never let myself get hurt that way.

My mom had given herself in so easily each time and each time it hurt her more than before. And every time she looks at me she says, "I'm sorry. I'm not that good of a role model. I just keep hurting you and showing you how much it hurts."

Her situations taught me not to love to fast, not to give too much. To hide my smiles and my tears because other people take them and rip the rug from under your feet because as you get older there is no such thing as a free world and that was that.

It was the fifth week of him sitting with me in our corner when he'd taken my pen out of my hand, closed my book, turned me to face him and just kissed me.

There were no cherubs or fireworks. There weren't any volcanoes or sudden revelations of that feeling. But there was a sort of gasped, hasty breath and then a rush of lust and need pushed into that one kiss. It wasn't like other boys and their fumbling or those two with their too expert mouths and traveling hands wanting something I wasn't ready to give. Granted I'd only kissed five boys in all my seventeen years but they were just, nothing. Nothing compared to this.

His hands fell to my hips, pulling me closer, but I wanted to be closer for once it wasn't reluctant or half wanted, half hated. I knew I wouldn't regret doing it like I had with the others. And then his tongue ran against my lips and I'd opened them. Happily. His lip ring was slightly cool against the skin of my own and I worried it might catch on my teeth or something like that and his tongue bar ran rampant with his tongue and I'd let loose a noise, something completely embarrassing but at the time I hadn't cared, just as long as he kept kissing me I'd be fine.

We broke apart, and I went into semi-shock mode and just stared at him in confusion and with slight incredulousness and he'd looked serious and focused on me. I figured that somewhere in the middle of that, I'd moved, been moved or whatever into his lap, my hands about his neck and his cupping my behind bringing me closer.

"You have to be the toughest girl I'd ever met," he'd frowned. "All the girls I don't want crack on to me, and the one girl I do want, acts uninterested. But that kiss disproves that." He'd looked at me with his beautiful eyes and smiled slightly, "do you know I've wanted to kiss you for months?"

He'd looked at me seriously when I'd gold fished at him in an effort to get words out, but I couldn't because somewhere they'd gotten stuck, "you have this thing in your head to block people out, and you close off. I won't let you close off, but you also have to never close me out. It's a group effort and it takes two, so you have to cooperate."

And that was that.

It was confusing in many ways. And hard in even more.

I got on well with his friends, we were pleasant to one another, they'd say hey and when there was a party, they invited both of us, not just him and then me as an afterthought. Like my old friends did.

His housemates, Rory and Tommy like me I guess. We have fights about who does the dishes and whose turn it is to put out the washing. Things like that. We argue like siblings over the remote until he breaks in, takes the remote and flips it over on to a station that isn't even what we were trying to watch anyway and then when he pulls me into his lap, he won't let me get the control because it would be 'unfair'. I like to scoff at him in those times and try to get it back which normally leaves him chucking the remote at the other two, picking me up and carrying me out of the room. I should try a new tactic but it's just so funny to see him blush, if it's even possible for him too. I still have trouble believing it with my own eyes, that I can make him blush.

And he was my first, and he'd been so desperate it had been rushed and hasty and we'd lain there in the dark and I'd thought that it was it, that he'd leave me now. He didn't he'd held me and told me he was sorry for making it so fast because he'd tried to hold back but he hadn't been able to. In the morning I'd been covered in bruises and hickey's and his back was slightly scratched but we'd both called in sick to school and spent the day in bed talking in between kisses and other things. Or else I'd just lain and listened to his breathing.

I sigh and feel his arms wrap tighter about me. He's warm and his breathing is even, his heartbeat a flutter of strength beneath the palm of my hand. I open my eyes for a moment and then close them, a soft tic of lashes, its strength, the feel of it beneath my hand, the look in his eyes, his so serious brown eyes when he looks at me when he says that word. In the darkness it is just a word, not big enough or grand enough to say what I feel for him, but perhaps it's the darkness of the night, the feel of him with me that I'm sighing again. I didn't know what we were at times, but I did know my own feelings and their intensity. It pressed at me now and pushed at me.

"I love you Nikolai," my voice is soft but firm and as if seeking something out of him, my hand curls where it is lying against his shoulder. I can feel his collar bones and his strong muscled shoulder.

"I love you Ana," his murmur tells me he heard even in the depths of his dreams and that makes me feel slightly better.

Brown eyes stare down at the girl's head laying on his chest and then he smiles, she said it.