Chapter 11: All Around Town

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Hope everyone's having a wonderful holiday! :)) (This is a little shorter than I'd like it to be, mostly because I had a ton of stuff to do to prep for Christmas :'))

Chapter titles with a common theme haha :)) And since it's the holidays, I wanted to write something with a little bit of winter fun in it! (otherwise sometimes, it's a little strange to write about the summer while watching it snow buckets outside haha :'))

And to match with the festive spirit, this chapter will be sweet and spicy ;))


"Where exactly are we going?"

I chuckle a little at Matt's dubious expression, as he takes in the run-down building and worn steps. Leading to an underground station, it looks dim in comparison to the bright summer day outside - and admittedly, a little sketchy. As I peek sideways, his hands grip onto my shoulders to avoid being separated in the crowd, and I'm sure he's now wondering if he should have opted instead for the Science Centre that my parents and Arthur were visiting for the day.

"It's the subway station," I reply wryly, as we weave through rows of people and towards the subway train pulling in to the platform. "I know you're a little used to Jeremy and all of that -"

"Hey, I take the bus," Matt pipes up, looking a little miffed but he shrugs it off. "I mean after that, where?"

"It's the journey, not the destination," I deadpan, but the attempt at a deep quote is lost on Matt, who grabs a window seat and plops down with a content smile. "It's a surprise."

For most of the ride, I study his profile peering out the window, eyebrows furrowed at the abandoned warehouses and rows of traffic passing by in a distance, in a continuous blur. He bites his lower lip in thought on occasion and I silently chuckle at how small he suddenly appears, back pressed up against the glass and legs slowly stretching outwards. 

"Nervous?" I tease lightly, as the train enters a tunnel and our shoulders bump in a synchronized rhythm. 

"More like curious," Matt murmurs, raking a hand through the curls of the nape of his neck and quirking his eyebrows upwards. "Is it going to top the amusement park?"

"I guess we'll find out."

As the doors open and passengers pile out onto the platform, I skip ahead a little and we soon find ourselves walking through the entryway of a large brownstone building in the centre of downtown Toronto. Matt pulls his flannel around tighter and shivers as we near the front desk.

"Did the temperature just drop twenty degrees?" He looks startled at the sudden small puff of breath that escapes his lips.

"Yup," I declare happily, with a sweeping gesture. "Because, ta-da, it's the skate rink."

Cold air fills my lungs as I take a deep breath and smile, feeling for a moment as if I've entered another part of the world in the middle of winter. Skating had seemed like an oddly fitting activity and the strangeness of it indoors, in the summer, is an extra plus. 

Especially, I note triumphantly, because Matt looks caught off guard.

As he mulls the news over, a lady hands us two pairs of white skates and we walk down a corridor towards the rink, echoing chatter continuing to grow with every step. I'm nearly ready to bound across the ice after lacing up my skates and teetering into a crowd of people, when Matt suddenly grabs my wrist and pulls me closer. We circle around each other for a few moments and I feel my breath catch in my throat under his sea-green gaze. 

The spell, however, is broken when he smirks.

"I'm out of practice," he remarks, casually latching an arm around the small of my back. "I think I might need some help getting around."

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