Sitting at the bar, I cursed my friends. They wanted to have a "girls' night out" and thought the perfect place would be at the old bar down by the park. They'd failed to inform me that it would be open mic night, a night I damned with all of my soul because most of the people who showed up were rednecks and wannabes. As a teen warbled away on his guitar, bemoaning the loss of his huntin' dog Boone, I winced and took a long sip from my glass of rum and coke. Oh well, I thought to myself, at least it's not another night of horrible chick flicks.

I glanced over at my friends, Erika and Ashley, who had dragged me away from my inks and colored pencils. They had each found someone to flirt with. Ash looked up my way and winked, I smirked back as I saw her hand lightly grope her man's upper thigh. Looks like I'd have to find a ride home tonight. At least I had the taxi number saved in my cell phone.

A small smattering of applause went out to the teen, who blushed and walked away quietly. I wrinkled my nose for a moment, not paying attention to the announcement of the next person to come up onto the stage. I leaned forward over my drink, praying it wouldn't be another country crooner. I heard the strings of an acoustic guitar being lightly strummed; something was whispered into the mic, something I could barely hear.

"This is for you," his voice stated softly.

I recognized the voice, but didn't turn around. No, not until I heard him as he sang a song which I knew. I turned around and there he was, sitting on the barstool and touching his guitar like a lover. My eyes widened at the sight; slightly disheveled blond hair, faded blue jeans, plain black t-shirt, and a beat up acoustic guitar. I knew that if he looked up, blue eyes would pierce through the darkness into my soul. My best friend, who "had plans" this evening, condemning me to hang out with womenfolk.

I knew the song well. He'd written it for me as a belated birthday present. My song. "Little ice warrior" he called it, pointing out my tendencies to fight against the world. To fight against anything entering my heart. He ended the song and looked up, his eyes locking with mine. He knew I would be here tonight. I could tell, just in the way he looked at me. I gave a small smile and turned back to my drink. Whether he knew it or not, he had made my night. A shadow fell over me and I felt a presence sit in the seat to my left.

"I'll have a Jack and coke."

"Put it on my tab," I stated to the barkeep. "You were really good tonight."

"It was for you."

"I know. Thank you."

We drank our drinks in silence as another person got up on the stage and started singing an old country song. I winced and rubbed my temple with a finger.

"You're all dolled up," he stated. "I'm surprised Ash and Erika were able to drag you away from your drawing table."

"I was kicking and screaming the whole way," I replied sardonically. "Girls' night out, they said. It looks more like 'let's flirt and go home with men tonight' to me."

"You got a ride?"

"I can call a taxi. I'm not made of glass."

He looked me over. "The least I can do is to take you home."

"Fine, fine," I sighed.

He grinned a grin that almost broke my heart in two. I smiled back and finished the rest of my drink. He took one last swallow of his own drink as I placed a twenty on the bar.

"Keep the change," I murmured.

He took me by the hand and navigated us through the crowded bar. I stopped at Erika and Ash's table to tell them I didn't need a ride home. As he moved away, they both gave me thumbs up and I rolled my eyes. They thought we were in love with each other and just needed some gentle pushing to be together. Sadly, they were half-right.

He was waiting with his old clunker of a Chevy, opening the door for me. I smiled a thankful smile and rested my head against the headrest. He got in the other side and started driving. I closed my eyes, enjoying the companionable silence we held between us. I believed that if we couldn't have an awkward silence, we were supposed to be friends. He proved me right so many times.

I opened my eyes to a darkened sky. Darkened sky? I glanced over to see that he was carrying me bridal style up the steps to his apartment. I grunted and put my arms around his neck.

"Why're we at your place instead of mine?"

"You were fast asleep, and since I didn't feel like groping around for your key in that skirt of yours," he looked pointedly at the plaid mini I'd been forced into earlier, "I decided the best thing was for me to take you back to my place."

He carried me in, stopping to turn on a light, then headed back to his bedroom. I loved his bedroom. It was all in shades of blue and had a masculine feel to it. I especially loved his bed, which was large and soft. I always loved spending the night at his place because then I would sleep in his bed.

He lay me down on the mattress and sat down beside me. I snuggled up against him, putting my arm around his waist and pulling him down to lie beside me. He chuckled, a sound which warmed my blood, made it burn while coursing through my veins.

"Why'd you do it?" I asked suddenly.

"Do what?" He shot back, turning his head so he could look into my eyes.

"Why'd you sing my song at an open mic night?"

He sighed and looked up at the ceiling. I grumbled a small grumble, knowing he was having a hard time choosing the right words.

"Don't worry about it right now. Let's just get some sleep."

He nodded his agreement and we both got ready for bed. I borrowed a shirt of his, long enough to be a short dress on me, and he stripped down to his boxers. We lay in bed together, his arms around me as I argued with myself about the position I was in. I turned to look at him and blazing blue eyes stare back at me. He pulled me closer to him. I closed my eyes.

Hot lips descended on mine, so sweet and soft. I opened my eyes slightly to see him close his own. His hands moved up and down my body, tangling in my short hair, then moving down to stroke across the backs of my thighs. I moaned softly, causing him to break contact for a moment. I looked up at him, his eyes so piercing in the dark. He leaned over me and drew me into a passionate kiss. His tongue licked at my bottom lip, begging for entry. I opened my mouth slightly, feeling him invade me as his fingers danced on my skin and underneath my shirt. I moved my hands up and down his chest, playing with his hair.

"You're so beautiful," he murmured before laying his head on my chest..

"Don't," I wiggled a little. "I like feeling your kisses."

He laughed lightly, "You'll be getting plenty of those soon."

"Good."

There was a pause and he was suddenly lifting my face with a hand.

"Y'know the reason why I played your song tonight?"

"No, why?"

He mumbled something into my chest.

"What?"

"Because I love you."

My heart throbbed with delight. "Well good, because I love you, too."

His lips caught mine in a sweet, simple kiss.