I stepped out of my small Mazda and adjusted my scarf while crossing the dimly lit street. The air was cold and my breath floated like will-o-the-wisps. I slipped through the rusty back gate and was enveloped by the booming sound of music and crashing bodies.
In the back half of the yard was a matted platform where boys clothed in black were performing near impossible acts of acrobatics. But this wasn't gymnastics, this art. Martial arts. I blushed as people started to notice me. I was never comfortable with being in the spotlight; especially when I was the only girl in the vicinity.
My brother nodded his head in my direction. It was his silent way of acknowledging my presence as he continued his training. The plan was for me to watch quietly by the sidelines but my friend James was never a follower of plans, 'ANNA!!!' I watched in horror as he yelled my name while running across the yard with Eriol behind him. They stopped short of collapsing on me and threw their sweat dripping shirts over my head. The boys laughed when I screamed in agony of the stench, 'Ahhhhhhh!!!! Gross, get your sweat off me! Go back to your training!'
James laughed as he picked up his shirt and skipped back to the mats with his weekly mission completed. I was now left with Eriol who was comfortably standing in the Winter night, topless. I flicked him a look, 'Hey Prince Charming, aren't you going to put your shirt back on?' He leaned over me and whispered into my ear huskily, 'I was under the impression that you liked staring at my irresistible naked chest.' I pushed him away while shivering at the slight touch, 'Just put your shirt back on.'
He smiled at me, 'Only if you're the one doing it for me.'
I couldn't help but let out a laugh, 'You, my dear friend have a really big head.' Eriol grinned openly and shrugged nonchalantly, 'Hey, I thought you already knew that, what with my irresistible charm.' He then tugged at my wrist and lead me into a empty training hall, away from the others. I looked up at him puzzled as he closed the door, 'Why are we in the training hall?'
'Because you're going to help me wear my shirt.' I sighed in defeat, I was never going to win against him. He leaned down so that I could fit the collar over his head. As he straightened up, he wrapped his arms around my waist and drew me closer to him. Eriol then pushed my back against the wall and I realised what he was about to do. He inclined his head and searched my eyes intently, asking for permission. Because, he was Prince Charming, he would never stoop to the level of forcing himself onto anyone.
But I wasn't ready.
I placed my hand gently over his lips and whispered, 'No.' He gazed at me with a look of confusion and hurt but didn't question me. I turned away from him, 'Sorry Eriol, you're moving a bit fast. There's still so much I don't know about you.' His fingers guided my face towards him again, 'I'm sorry. How about I take you to dinner tomorrow and give you the chance to become familiar with me?'
I smiled at him, 'You always have an answer to everything. Come on, we should head back. My brother's waiting for me.' So we returned outside with Eriol holding my hand firmly. I was about to leave with my brother when Eriol called for the attention of everyone that wasn't already staring at us. And our hands.
'Attention all losers! I officially have a date with Anna tomorrow!' Eriol beamed as everyone either screamed with excitment or groaned in disappointment. There were boys who to my suprise were visibly stone shocked.
I flicked an embarrassed glance at Eriol, 'You're so not charming.'
He replied simply, 'They're just sad they can't secretly admire you anymore.'
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