Colton had been to Audra’s house once. All week, the two of them had been calling each other. She’d been allowed to stay home for the rest of the week to collect herself. He had to admit, he didn’t like not seeing her the rest of the week, because she didn’t have much time left, but they’d agreed that they would spend the entire day together watching movies, reading, and listening to music.
He pulled up in front of her house and waited. He waited for a few minutes, then honked once. When she didn’t respond after that, he shut off his car, got out, and quickly made his way to the door.
She said she would meet him out here, but she wasn’t responding. He’d honked. His car is loud. He didn’t want to know what was keeping her from coming out.
Once at the door, he went to knock, only to find that the door was left open. His heart rate spiked as he carefully stepped inside, looking around.
The house itself seemed normal enough. Nothing was out of place, everything was clean… There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
He took a deep breath to calm himself before he shakily called out, “Audra?”
There was a crash in the next room, followed by the sound of something hitting the floor. He started, then ran to where he heard the sound. “Audra?!”
“I’m fine! Just fine!” she responded quickly.
He found her struggling a little to push herself to her feet. Her curly, chocolate brown hair was pulled back out of her face, a few stray strands framing her face. She turned her head slightly to stare at him, her bright blue eyes wide with surprise and shock, and he noticed that a piece of her hair was white as snow, and the roots here more of a dark chocolate color.
“Colton! What’re you doing in here?!” she asked in a panicked voice. She was still trying to get on her feet. Her gloved arms were shaking. She coughed, and he saw a silvery glow flow through her veins, crawling up her neck and working its way up her face before receding, all happening in just a couple seconds. This happened every time she coughed.
Colton was by her side almost immediately, gently but firmly helping her to his feet and pulling her closer to himself to support her. Her bare arms were cold. “Audra, are you okay? What’s up with your hair? Not- Not that I’m complaining. It looks really good on you. I’m- I’m just- What’s happening to you? You didn’t respond earlier and your door was open. Your arms are freezing, you’re coughing, and your hair is- Wait. Your eyes are a lot brighter than they were Tuesday…”
Audra had flushed a little at the comment about her hair, but said nothing. She took a couple deep breaths, nodding a bit as she tested her head on his chest, her brows furrowed slightly in confusion. After a few more moments, she looked up at him. “My… My time has gone down,” she explained softly, looking away again. “I have two and a half months left, give it take a few days…” She sighed, slowly lifting her gaze to meet his. “But I don’t want to think about that right now. I just want to spend the day with you, and pretend like I’m not a time bomb. Please. We can talk about it tomorrow, if you really want to.” Her eyes were begging him not to start a conversation about how much time she had left.
He knew they should talk about it, but he’d made the mistake of looking into her beautiful bright blue eyes. So he caved and nodded, guiding her over to the soft, grey leather couch and sat down, gently resting his head on top of her soft hair. He breathed in slowly, noticing how she smelled like the ocean, even though there wasn’t an ocean anywhere near the city.
His thoughts slowly drifted to the sea, imagining a life Audra didn’t have a time limit to life, and him taking her on a walk along the warm sand at sunset. He imagined them holding hands, smiling and laughing about everything and nothing at the same time. He imagined them slowing to a stop, pulling her closer to himself and stroking a gentle thumb across her cheek, and then-
“What do you want to do?” Audra suddenly asked him, tearing him away from his thoughts. She’d been resting her head against his shoulder, but was now looking up at him with those beautiful eyes of hers.
He felt a rope pulling at his heart as he stared at her, flushing slightly a moment later before shrugging. “I’m here to do whatever it is you want to,” he answered with a soft smile.
She smiled faintly - making his heart flutter a little - and turned her gaze away from him to a book sitting on the coffee table. After a moment of thinking, she looked back at him. “Read to me?”
Colton’s smile grew as he nodded, reaching forward and grabbing the copy of The Hunger Games before settling back into the couch, pulling her closer to him as he opened the book to the first page, holding it open with just one hand. The other was gently running up and down her arm.
He started reading.
They’d spent the next few hours reading, both emersed in the book. Soon they found themselves somewhat nearing the end, at the part where Katniss is taking care of Peeta. Colton got a little flustered as he read the paragraph when they kissed, and paused for a moment to catch his breath.
It was then he realized that Audra was staring at him, an unknown look to him in her eyes. They had readjusted themselves pretty early on in the book, and her legs were laying across his.
He quickly looked down at the book with the intention of continuing the story. He felt Audra readjusting a bit, and was about to ask her something when he briefly felt something brush feather-lightly across his lips. His eyes widened in surprise, and his face flushed a deep shade of red when he realized that Audra had just kissed him. There was a light, tingling sensation on his lips.
Audra blushed a little and ducked her head. “I’m- I’m sorry. I’m not sure what came over me. I just-”
She never got to finish what she was saying.
Colton had gently cupped her chin and tilted it up, leaning forward and softly kissed her cherry blossom pink lips. The back of his hand slowly ran up her cheek from her chin, brushing a few loose strands out of her face before resting just behind her head. Another second into the kiss, and he felt her hand resting on his cheek as she gently returned the kiss.
It was one of those long, sweet kisses they had dreamed of, leaving them both breathless for a few moments afterwards when they parted. He was momentarily unable to open his eyes for a couple seconds afterwards. When his eyes opened, he saw her eyes slowly fluttering open.
Colton smiled softly, moving his hand to gently run a thumb over her lips. They were so soft. I kissed those lips, he realized after a moment. Holy crap. I just kissed Audra. Did she- He internally sighed, closing his eyes. The only thing on his mind was the kiss they shared.
“Was… that okay of me to do?” she asked hesitantly, her brows furrowed just a smidge.
He opened his eyes to stare into hers, and he nodded, smiling. “Though, if you wanted, I could check again.”
The corners of her lips lifted into a small smile as she nodded, her gaze falling to his lips.
He chuckled softly, his smile growing for a moment before he leaned forward and kissed her again, pulling himself away a few moments later. He pretended to think about it for a moment, then nodded, pulling her closer so she was resting against him. “It was more than okay,” he murmured, leaning his head against hers.
She nodded, grinning a little as she rested her head against his shoulder. “Good.”
They remained that way for several more minutes, in each other’s arms, before she spoke again.
“Can we finish the book?”
Colton nodded as he took the book in his hand again, opening up to the page they left off at while running a hand over her curly hair. Once he found the page, he began reading again, smiling softly as he did so.