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Niall and Marygrace leaned their bodies against the ledge as they peered down at the ice-skaters below.  The average skaters rotated around the outer ring of the rink while some experienced skaters did tricks in the center.  Marygrace felt like she could watch them for hours on end.  She didn’t notice that Niall had stopped looking at the skaters.  He stared at her, admiring how simply beautiful she looked.  He turned back to the skaters before she could catch him staring.

“I never knew there was an ice skating rink here,” he said.  Marygrace felt herself smiling yet again at the sound of his voice.  She loved talking to him.  Everything he’d said so far had been sweet and his accent just made it even better.

“I could watch them for hours,” Marygrace said as her voice trailed off.  What she really meant was that she could watch them with him.  

“Or,” Niall began “other people can watch us” he hinted with a smile.  Marygrace smiled at him, showing that she understood.  She nodded and Niall grabbed her hand.  That was the first time they’d held hands.  Marygrace couldn’t help, but feel like sparks flew when he’d touch her.  Niall felt it, too.

They walked together toward the elevator to get down to the ice skating rink.  Niall hit the button and the elevator arrived shortly.  They both stepped in, their hands still intertwined.  They locked eyes and smiled at each other.

“You know, I’ve lived in New York all my life and I’ve never skated here?” Marygrace said.  

“Well I guess this will be an adventure for both of us.  I’ve never even been ice skating!” Niall said laughing at himself.  Marygrace looked surprised.

“Really?” she questioned him, giggling.  Niall nodded yes.  “I can’t wait to see this!” she teased him.  The elevator reached the lobby and dinged as it opened.  The lobby was decorated with twinkling lights for the winter season and featured a fireplace on the far wall.  It was filled with enthusiastic tourists and city residents putting on and taking off their skates.  The room buzzed with holiday excitement.  To the left of the elevator exit, stood a desk with what looked to be over 100 cubbies for ice skate rental.  Niall and Marygrace approached the desk, their hands still intertwined.  

“Two pairs of ice skates, please.” Niall said to the employee.  He reached for his wallet and used his free hand to pay the twenty dollars.  The man behind the desk took their shoes in exchange for ice skates of the same size.  He placed them on the counter before Niall picked up both pairs by the laces.  

They both found a seat at a nearby bench and began lacing up their skates.  Niall laced up his skates tightly and noticed that Marygrace was having trouble.  He stepped up from the bench, being careful not to topple over on the skates.  He then kneeled down on the floor in front of Marygrace and looked up at her.

“Need a little help there?” Niall offered.  

“Yes, Please.” She blushed.  Niall proceeded to tie up the laces making sure not to tie them too tight.  When he was done, Marygrace stood up on her skates.

“Thanks, I can never seem to get the laces right.” She said tucking a piece of hair behind her ear.  Niall smiled back at her, offering a shoulder shrug.  Their hands found each other once again and fit together perfectly as they walked toward the entrance to the skating rink.  Niall carefully stepped onto the ice and Marygrace followed.  Niall had observed the skaters enough to figure out the basics of ice skating.  

“Ready?” he asked Marygrace.  She nodded and gave a little push off of the ice with her foot.  They moved slowly as Niall tried to get the hang of skating.  He was pretty clumsy on the ice and ended up hanging on to the wall with his free hand to steady himself.  

“I don’t think I’m too great at this,” Niall admitted laughing at himself.  A rosy color creeped onto Niall’s cheeks.

“Don’t worry, I’ve never been all that great at skating either,” Marygrace confessed turning toward Niall.  She looked him right in the eye and smiled.  Niall could practically feel himself melt at the sight.  

The two continued making their way around the rink with careful strokes and cautious minds.  Niall didn’t want to fall and make a fool of himself on their first date, although he knew they’d probably just laugh it off anyway.  Niall felt like he could be himself with her.  

They were silent for a few minutes, but it was a comfortable silence.  They were both happy to be with each other and were enjoying the moment in it’s entirety.  The rest of the rink was packed with families and couples enjoying themselves as well.  Niall felt a tug on his arm and their silence was interrupted by a thud.  Marygrace had fallen onto the ice and her hand had slipped from Niall’s.

“Oops,” Marygrace muttered.  She grabbed her hat off of the ice and put it back on before she looked up at Niall.

“Are you okay?” Niall asked.  He worried that she’d gotten hurt, but when they locked eyes, the answer was clear.  They both broke out into a fit of hysterical laughter.

“I was wondering who would fall first!” Niall said.  

“Same!” Marygrace did her best to speak through her laughter.  

Niall reached out a hand to help her up while steadying himself on the wall of the rink.  When he helped her stand up, she’d thought that she had regained her balance, but was wrong.   Marygrace accidentally stumbled forward onto Niall.  He caught her and without realizing, placed his hands around her waist.  She stared up into his beautiful blue eyes and he stared into her sparky green ones.  Niall leaned toward her and in that moment, his lips were on hers.  They kissed on the ice underneath the glow of the christmas tree.  There were hundreds of people skating around them, but they both felt as if it were only the two of them.  Marygrace felt her arms reach up as she placed them around Niall’s neck.  Niall melted into the kiss as did Marygrace.  Niall took in everything, the floral scent of her shampoo, how warm her hands were around his neck, the softness of her lips.  He couldn’t get enough.  The world stopped around them and Marygrace was completely stuck in the moment.  

When they finally pulled back, they still stood just as close.  Marygrace’s hands still sat around Niall’s neck, and his around her waist.  They’re heads were tilted into each other so close that their foreheads almost touched.  Everything felt perfect.

“Wow,” Niall whispered “I’ve waited so long for that.”  Marygrace giggled, smiling up at him before their lips met yet again.

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