“So you think I should take it slow?” Blake asked me after an awkward silence passed us.
I nodded, “You don’t spring out a date on a girl, you’ll scare her away. As lame as it sounds, some girls like to be courted.” I explained.
“Courting, isn’t that for old people?” Blake snorted.
“You mean people who’ve been married for ages? Yeah courting, it’s romantic and shows girls like Sophia that they’re worth your time.” I picked up my bag and hitched it on my shoulder.
“Where are you going?” Blake asked standing up too, towering over me.
He was pretty tall. I mused accidentally getting lost in those blue orbs he calls his eyes.
It was funny. While I was acting like Sawyer, Blake was nothing but a pain in my butt. A jerk I had to deal with. Sure he was cute, but looks only got you so far.
But as Vivian, he’s really a guy. Not a teammate, not a jerk, not some guy who’s helping me in exchange for Sophia.
I don’t know who he is.
“Come on.” I said clamping on his wrist and dragging him away with me. “We’re going to practice a few things.”
Blake didn’t ask any questions as we climbed into his car. I gave him directions to a park I had become familiar with in the past few weeks.
“Why are we at skyward park?” he raised his eyebrow when he parked the car.
“You need practice and I thought you’d like to do it without your friends watching.” I shrugged pulling him towards a picnic table.
“Okay so how does this work?” he asked nervously. I cracked an unintentional smile.
Nervous Blake was a sight to see. I’ll never get tired of him.
“Pick me up.” I answered.
“Pick me up Blake.” I said flatly.
Then without warning, Blake scooped me up in his arms bridal style. He literally picked me up. What an idiot….
“What are you doing?” I giggled before slapping my hand over my mouth. Dear Buddha, did I just giggle? I don’t giggle, I laugh!
“What you s-said to pick you up?” he stammered tightening his grip on me.
“I meant make me swoon. Flirt with me jock head, not carry me off into the sunset.” I explained tiredly.
“Oh.” he nodded setting me down again, “That makes more sense.”
“Are you always this ditzy?” I raised my eyebrow.
“No.” he scoffed. “You just confused me is all.”
He was fidgeting again.
“Blake relax, take a deep breath and relax.” I said calmly rubbing small circles on his back. I did this all the time when my mom would have panic attacks. Blake stiffened under my touch but soon eased into it.
“I’m relaxed.” he exhaled after a long comfortable silence.
“Good. Now I need you to pretend i’m Sophia.” I said retracting my hand. Instantly I regretted it, not because Blake looked on the verge of passing out, but because I missed his warmth.
“Why not?” I said calmly.
“She makes me nervous.” he admitted.
“Pretend it’s just you and her. She seems like a nice girl, she won’t hurt you.” I coaxed him.
He sucked in a deep breath and finally met my gaze. Blake’s blue eyes melted into a soft puddle of admiration. It was breathtaking.
Without warning he took hold of my hand. I repressed a gasp and kept my eyes locked onto his.
“Sophia.” he started off slowly, “I- what should I say to her?” he asked.
I blinked coming out of whatever trance I was in. “Tell her….how much she’s worth. Talk about her favorite bands or her favorite hobby. Reel her into a conversation, find a common ground. Don’t ask her out right away, you’ll scare her away.”
“Got it.” he nodded, he let go of my hand and started naming off different bands.
“Arctic Monkeys, The strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the 1975, Maroon 5, The killers, the neighborhood-” he listed off before I cut him off.
“What are you doing?” I giggled.
Damn you feminine genes!
“I’m listing all my favorite bands. Why do you like any of them?” he smiled.
“Yeah I do.” I agreed, “The Arctic Monkeys are my favorite actually.”
“Really?” he asked, “I would have never guessed.” he replied sarcastically pointing at my shirt with the ever sexy Alex Turner.
I blushed and pushed the conversation, “All time favorite?” I asked.
“Definitely the Arctic Monkeys, 505 is my song hands down.” he grinned.
“Great choice Mr.Orton, but my pick has to be Baby I’m yours. I’m a sucker for romantic ballads.” I shrugged.
“I respect that.” he said freely.
It was nice to see him carefree. This Blake didn’t scowl, didn’t yell, wasn’t tongue tied, and wasn’t arrogant. He was easy going and easy to talk too. It was like we’ve known each other for ages.
“Favorite movie?” he asked.
The sun was long gone and the park was empty except for us. We had moved to a set of swings and talked about anything and everything. The conversation never got tired, never was awkward, and was the best conversations I had in my life ever.
I’ll never admit that out loud ever though.
“Hmmm don’t have one.” I laughed softly and cringed when Blake nearly blew a gasket.
“You don’t have a favorite movie? What is wrong with you?” he asked making a big scene. I told him to keep it down, or else we’d get in trouble.
“I like a lot of movies. I can’t pick a favorite if i’m a movie whore.” I explained.
“Then tell me your favorite genre.”
“Comedy.” I answered easily.
“Okay you’re not bad Vivian.” he concluded.
“Call me Vivi, I like it better.” I said absentmindely.
“Call me Blake.”
“I do.” I scoffed.
“Good.” he grinned watching me intently.
“Good.” I parroted holding his gaze.
Without noticing Blake leaned over on the swings. He drew closer and closer until I could faintly make out the scent of his cologne. His blue eyes hooded as they never strayed away from me.
Unconsciously, I bit my lip. Blakes eyes snapped between my lips and back to my eyes.
Was he? I mean, did he want to kiss me? No. Nah he was kooky for Soph. Right?
Before his lips brushed against mine, I pulled back. Blake snapped his eyes open confused and disappointed.
Don’t worry, you dodged a bullet Orton.
“We should go, it’s getting late. My brother might track me down.” I said softly, threatening my heart rate to calm down.
“Yeah, we should go.” he agreed.
Once in the car, I gave him directions to my house. It was a quiet drive, filled with tension and many questions. On my behalf anyway.
He stopped in front of my house and didn’t even bat an eye at the size, like Tyson did.
“Um that whole thing at the park-” he began nervously fidgeting in his seat. Unconsciously my hand fleeted for his hand and squeezed it once.
“Don’t worry about it.” I cut in with a forced smile, “You get Sophia to talk like you did with me tonight, and she’ll be putty in your hands.”
Blake blinked once, registering what I was saying. He looked like he wanted to say something but opted not too instead he said, “Don’t be a stranger Vivi.”
“I won’t.” I smirked, releasing his hand and climbing out of the car.
I opened the door to my house and was met by the surprise of my life. All seated in my living room were Sawyer, Nicky, Ty, and my parents. Both my parents.