(originally written 8/28/07)
Oliver awoke suddenly to a knock at his door. It took him a moment to peel his cheek from the pages of his history textbook, then another moment to figure out he should open the door. Still a little fuzzy in the brain, he opened the door and did not exactly comprehend the sight that met him.
He blinked. “Miss Elizabeth.”
“Hello Oliver.” She eyed him and said, “You’ve got the word ‘parliament’ printed backwards on your cheek.”
“Do I?” He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and licked a finger to scrub at his cheek. “How’s that?”
“Good, but you missed the rest of the sentence and part of the next two lines.”
“Damn,” he muttered, turning to the mirror by his bed. Suddenly he froze, coming fully awake at last at he stared at Elizabeth’s reflection behind him in the mirror. He spun around to look at her. She gazed back steadily.
“Um…” he began. She was wearing his coat, the coat he’d given her last Saturday when it’d started raining on them both and he’d walked her home. It came down to just above her ankle, but from the way she’d wrapped it around herself… “Lizzie, are you… are you wearing anything under that?”
Her eyes pleaded with him as she shook her head no.
“God,” he muttered, feeling the beginnings of stubble on his cheeks and chin. He looked her up and down again, catching sight of her tangled hair and the messy knot in the coat belt and the black stilettos she’d hurriedly pulled on.
“Oliver,” she whispered.
He glanced up at her face in time to see her jaw clench to stop her teeth from chattering and a shiver run down her body. “My God! I’m sorry!” he exclaimed, taking her hand and pulling her inside. He kicked the door closed behind them, then pulled her into a tight embrace.
“Oliver, please,” she whispered into his shoulder.
“Shh,” he murmured, rubbing at her arms and shoulders to warm her up. “What happened?”
“Nothing,” she replied as she buried her face in his chest.
With a sigh, he stopped rubbing at her limbs and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. She smelled…odd. He couldn’t put his finger on what exactly she smelled like, but the smell wasn’t normal. “What happened?” he repeated.
“I said nothing.”
She pulled away from him slightly. “Nothing.”
He could feel her trying to push away from him, but he was stronger. “You just thought you’d drop by my apartment at three in the morning wearing nothing but my coat and a pair of high heels you can’t run in.”
After a pause, she whispered, “Yes.”
“I’m trying to figure out what you smell like,” he said conversationally. He felt her stiffen. “The only thing I can identify right now is alcohol. You just turned seventeen.” He paused. “Now…what happened?”
“You don’t want to know,” she answered quietly.
He sighed again, then tilted her chin up with one hand. “Let’s get you cleaned up,” he said, kissing her on the forehead.