Warmth Within

“Well Roy will be arriving late night, so we have a lot of time left. What would you like to do?” I asked. Jon shrugged in reply, taking a bite out of his cereal. “I really don’t mind anything. If you want to go out and catch a movie, or just hang around the house I’m okay with that too.”

I grinned at him and moved back against the counter, cocking my head to the left. “You’ve changed over the years,” I said, sounding thoughtful. Jon looked surprised and asked, “How?”

“Well the way you look in general. You aren’t pale and skinny anymore, and even your eye color has changed which I thought was impossible to happen to anyone. What did you do; have a plastic surgery?” Jon chuckled and shook his head no. “Of course not. I guess long days of surfing at the beach and working out in the gym really had its effects.”

“And yet, you don’t have a girlfriend,” I teased and his lips lifted into a smile.

“Yes, I don’t. I guess I just haven’t found the right girl yet.” Standing up, he placed the bowl into the sink and started working on the pile of dishes. I moved over to him, helping him by washing the dishes he’d soaped up one by one, and placing them to dry on rack.

“Is that what it’s about? Finding the right girl? I thought dating was meant to be done for fun.”

“Maybe it is for others but I don’t like getting into relationships unless I’m going to be serious. I’ve only had one so far.”

“Really?” I asked, the curiosity in my voice bursting to know. He grinned and nodded, handing another plate to me.

“Her name was Summer. I dated her for about two months during first year of university but then we broke it off.”

I contemplated for a moment, whether to ask or not wondering if it might hurt him if it were a touchy topic. But if he’d gotten comfortable enough to mention her without feeling the slightest bit awkward, I’m sure it couldn’t be too bad.


“Cause she cheated on me.”

That sounded really bad. I gulped, unsure what to say and glanced at Jon secretly from the corner of my eyes.

“Don’t worry about it. I get that reaction a lot.” He grinned at me.

“Did you really like her?” I asked, biting my lower lip.

“I guess so but I should’ve expected it. That’s how people are at university. But I was a little relieved. I’d felt she was little too much for me, and we didn’t fit well together. So I didn’t feel bad at all the night she approached me and broke it off.”

“Wow…I certainly didn’t expect that.” Placing the last plate onto the drying rack, I wiped my hands with a towel and turned to Jon. He stared at me intensely and I frowned.

“Is there something on my face?”

Then before I could make any sense of what he did, he reached out with his hand and cradled the entire side of my face with his palm – the one that had the soap on it.

“Sorry I couldn’t resist,” he grinned before making a run for it. I chased him outside as he ran towards the swimming pool area on the backyard. The problem was the fact that I didn’t notice the tiled floor surrounding the outer skirts of the pool was slippery. So when I ran after Jon in a fast pace, I felt myself slide onto the surface of the floor and wobble a little before falling face flat into the deep end of the pool. Gasping for breath, I rose to the surface and saw Jon laughing at me hard.

“You should’ve seen the look on your face Cel right before you fell into the pool. It was hilarious.” Still laughing to himself quietly, he crouched down on the side of the pool and watched me swim towards him, the expression that crossed my face satisfying him.

“You thought that was funny?” I asked, placing my arms on the surface of the floor, looking up into his face that was only inches away. He smirked in reply and nodded. Clearly he didn’t see it coming. “Keep laughing.” I quickly wrapped my hands around his neck and pulled him into the water so he came crashing down into it. If I hadn’t moved out of the way in the last second, his body would have fallen right on top of mine. By the time he came back to the surface, I swam to another far end but felt his hand curl around my foot. I giggled, thrashing against his grip. Swirling me around in the water, he made me dizzy and once he let go, it took me a while to know what to do.

I was met by the grin on his face as he ran his hands through his wet blonde hair. This time, for revenge, I threw myself at him and started wrestling with him in the water. Wrapping my legs around his waist, I drummed my fists on his chest and tried to make him ‘fake-drown’ or pull him into the water with the weight of my body but his past work-outs at the gym has proven to be useful for him.

The next half hour or so resumed with us playing around in the pool. If any of the neighbors had peered over the high fences, they would have seen two teenagers trying to drown the other and laughing heartily while doing so. By the time we finished, we both got out of the pool both of our clothes dripping.

“Well that was fun,” Jon said, winking at me and I felt myself go red as the heat of the sun hit me the moment I set step out the pool. “Sure it was,” I muttered in reply, twisting my t-shirt as the water poured out of it heavily. “Now what am I going to do about my clothes? I don’t have any spares.” “We’ll find you something,” Jon said in reply, taking hold of my hand as we moved up the stairs and towards his room.

He ended up handing me a button up blue shirt and cargo pants of his that would be way too big for me when I put it on. “You’ve got to be kidding me, right?” He shook his head no, enjoying it.

“You can check Liz’s room if you want to. She might have left some clothes when they travelled.”

“Good idea,” I muttered and moved to her room with him following me. When I opened her wardrobe, I noticed she had a few jeans lying around and tank tops. “I think I’ll be fine with this,” I said, handing Jon’s clothes back to him, but deciding to keep his shirt. “I’ll wear your shirt over the tank if I feel too cold.”

“Alright,” he said with a shrug. “I’m going to go hit the shower. You should take one too. I think there’s some soap and shampoo in the cabinets in Liz’s bathroom. You can check.” He smiled before leaving the bedroom and closing the door behind him. I rummaged through her wardrobe and found a spare and clean towel. After making sure I had the things I needed, I entered the hot shower and shampooed my hair. Within minutes, I was finished and changed into fresh new white tank top that fit me well, and wore blue jeans shorts. My brown hair slopped to my back, still quite wet and I put on his button up-shirt. It was quite a big for me and covered the shorts but I didn’t mind. I left my hair down to dry and made my way to Jon’s room; knocking on it.

“Come in!” He called. I eased the door open and was met by the sight of Jon half naked, with a towel wrapped over his lower half. I tried not to stare at his muscular body but in the end that’s what I ended up doing for about ten seconds before glancing away.

“Jeez, you could’ve told me you weren’t dressed yet,” I said, covering his view with my hand.

I could practically hear him roll his eyes as he muttered, “I really don’t care Cel.”

Still not looking at him, I backed out the room and closed the door softly. “I’ll be downstairs.” I sat down on one of the rocking chairs in the backyard patio, letting the sun’s beams hit my hair to dry. I heard the glass door slide open and Jon joined me. He was wearing a button-up shirt that looked identical to the one I had on, and baggy jeans. I made some room for him in the chair, even though there really was none but he had other plans. Easily lifting me up, he placed me on his lap as he sat down on the rocking chair; his arms wrapping around my waist as my back met the contours of his muscular chest.

“I see you’re wearing my shirt,” he teased as the chair rocked back and forth. “Yes I am,” I replied with a laugh. It was so easy to be myself with Jon sometimes. That’s the thing I always liked him for; the fact that I could always come to him when I was little when I had a problem or issue that I needed sorted. Or when I was bored, he’d come to hang out with me and we’d do something so fun that would rid me of whatever monotony I experienced. Like today, I didn’t expect us to get into a pool fight when I came in the morning. Whatever happened with him was so unexpected yet worth it. That’s why he’d been my best friend then and still continues to be.

I felt the rise and fall of his chest against my back as he breathed in deeply. “Strawberry?” He whispered. I knew he was talking about the scent of my hair, and the shampoo I’d applied to it. I turned my head and looked into his amber eyes, the sun reflecting off the emerald specks that twinkled as he smiled at me. A smile formed its way onto my own lips as I shook my head no. “It’s rose.”


This time it felt different as we stared into each others eyes. The feeling wasn’t exactly just the one of friendship and security or trust. It meant more but I couldn’t quite get my mind onto it. Our gaze didn’t break as he leaned forward and softly brushed his lips across my cheek. The burning this time wasn’t because of the sun. It was for a totally different reason. A reason I didn’t quite know of after the lingering kiss he’d given me. I sighed, and relaxed against him, closing my eyes.

The warmth that started inside didn’t die down, but only continued to burn its way through me until it found my heart.

The End

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