When Miss Sweet Meets Mr. Sour

By sourpatchkids

158K 3.4K 2.7K

When Olivia, a senior in high school, is unexpectedly paired up for a presentation with her middle school bul... More

When Miss Sweet Meets Mr. Sour

158K 3.4K 2.7K
By sourpatchkids

Hey, lovelies!

             In celebration of Singles Awareness Day (Valentine’s Day), Sour Patch Kids has commissioned me to write this sour then sweet love story!  It was a blast to create this short story, and Sour Patch Kids happens to be my favorite brand of candy! I was very excited to write this for their #SPKSAD campaign. J

            I encourage you ALL on Wattpad to enter the sour then sweet romance contest by tagging #SPKSADcontest to your own creation of a sour then sweet romance story! Have fun, and get creative!

Check out the Sour Patch Kids’ profile for rules on how to enter!                                                                    - KatRocks247

***

December 5th was the first day Danny Johnson called me Eggplant.

Let me explain.

My grandma was really into knitting. She was pretty much as blind as someone holding a brick in front of both eyes, yet precisely felt her way through yarn and waving as if it was her own version of braille. Sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, a dress for my dog, which he only wore once, while he stiffly walked around the house, and looked like a stuffed burrito…

There was even association for completive, elderly knitters, called: “The Old and Slightly Fuzzy Association of Knitting”, and she was the president and founder, of it.

I know. The name slightly disturbed me as well.        

Grandma didn’t play around. And if you so much as called knitting a “hobby”, her nostrils would flare up like an enraged dragon, and let me tell you, nobody wanted to hear Grandma get on one of her usual rants.

Anyway, on my 14th birthday, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to you that Grandma decided to give me a handmade, bold, unflattering, excessively itchy sweater that, I’ll admit now, made my overweight, freshly fourteen-year-old body look like an Eggplant.

The moment I saw the sweater, I was absolutely mortified. ‘Your grandma made it out of love,’ Mom said, as I shot her a death glare and walked backwards out of the house to catch the bus. I stared at her all the way through the front glass door until I was at the center of the driveway, before finally pivoting around and walking normally. 

Believe me, I was contemplating shredding the sweater off my body like an animal, the entire walk down the driveway, and then sacrificing it to the Ugly Sweater gods, by burning it in the trashcan. But I didn’t because I was…unfortunately…. a good person. 

This brings us back to Danny Johnson, a bad person. 

He had always been one head taller than everyone at school, the smartest kid in class, the most athletic, the most attractive, and the wittiest. With dark brown hair and blue eyes that were striking and outlandish, with specs of grey around the iris, every girl in school wanted to belly flop into those orbs of godliness, then swim laps back and forth until they reached the end of their life.

Even at fourteen, Danny was magnificent to look at. I had eyes. He was extremely attractive. I was one of many who were crushing on the boy since pre-k, but I digress. 

From an outside perspective, Danny was a good kid, but he was a mean and bitter fourteen-year old- boy when he wanted to be, and I would learn that on December 5th.

Rumor had it, Danny was bitter because his parents got divorced when he was in sixth grade, his dog and cat died simultaneously in seventh, and in the eighth grade, before he first called me Eggplant, he was suspended from school for giving a boy a wedgie during an assembly.

Danny had issues.

And thanks to his popularity and the fact that he was one magnificent slice of sexy, Danny got away with being a jerk all the way to his senior year of high school…

But, I digress again; we’re still at December 5th in the eighth grade, when Danny ruined my birthday and possibly scarred me for life...

I had made it halfway through the day without any commentaries on my sweater from my fellow eighth grade classmates.

I was feeling pretty good, maybe this sweater didn’t look as bad as I thought…

To direct the attention away from my sweater, I even had a “Birthday Girl” sticker at the center of my chest, but perhaps it did the opposite of what I had hoped for because I was surely getting stared at every which way I went.

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In a mere three hours, I would be home free and be able to kick back and relax, while watching cartoons on the couch. Just three hours.

I walked into my English class with my gaze locked on the ground.

My plan was that if I avoided eye contact, I could avoid socialization, and thus avoid criticism on my sweater… 

Little did I know the teacher, Mrs. Doughtry, planned a group assignment and had arranged the desks together so that six kids sat at each group. This allowed everyone to sit with their friends, but to my fourteen-year-old dismay, none of my close friends were in this class with me and there appeared to be no available seats. 

This was every kid’s nightmare. Being the last one picked for kickball and the last one to find a seat at a table.

Heart in my throat, I offered a smile towards my teacher, who returned the smile and motioned to an available seat. 

Just three more hours and I could take the stupid sweater off… 

Fourteen year old me settled on sitting at the last available seat in class. It right next to—yep, you guessed it. 

Danny Johnson.

The last available seat was at a table of all boys and they were talking loudly about video games and a football game.  I was the oddball at the table and I doubted any of them knew my name because a), I was a dork, and b), I was also very quiet, at least. 

The moment after the teacher discussed the assignment and handed out papers, Danny discreetly leaned over to unzip his backpack, sliding a yellow container of Sour Patch Kids out. 

 “You’re Olivia, right?” One of the boys at the table, blonde one, Quinn, who I had in one of my other classes, suddenly broke away from a conversation with his friend and was looking right at me. 

 “Um, y-yes,” I stuttered out quickly. Despite speech therapy sessions, fourteen year old me still had trouble slowing down her words, and stuttered sometimes because of this. 

 “Y-y-y-y-y-y-yes,” Danny Johnson mocked in a high-pitched voice, earning giggles from his audience at the table. Even the blonde boy, who I had first thought was very nice, laughed loudly at the joke. 

I held down the flood of emotion building up in my chest. It was my birthday. I was supposed to have a good day. “Wow, aren’t you a comedian? We should work on the assignment now, before one of us gets suspended from school again,” I said, slower this time, making sure I did not stutter. 

I now felt the weighted gaze of the beautiful boy next me, whom I had crushed on since pre-k. He wore the jersey of his favorite hockey team and his brown hair was slightly in his eyes. 

 “Nice sweater.” Was he being serious? It was the last thing I had expected, and for a moment, from his seamless tone of voice, I actually thought he was serious.   

The boys at the table erupted into laughter, and it was then that I got my answer. 

Danny’s beautiful blue-grey eyes locked onto my eyes and a cynical grin lifted the corner of his lips. 

 “I was obviously kidding, it’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, Eggplant.” 

He then tilted the yellow box of candy into his palm and popped a couple of Sour Patch Kids in his mouth, leaning back in his chair and chewing leisurely. Danny’s lips puckered a bit from the sour treat, and just like that, he turned away from me and started talking about a hockey game with his friends. 

 “What did you call me?” I asked, still in shock. I had heard him quite clearly as day and pressure was building behind my eyes. 

Danny turned back around. “I said,” he began unhurriedly, purposely increasing the amplitude of his voice, in order to catch the attention of the entire class, “that sweater is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, Eggplant. Eggplant, because that’s what you look like, fatty.” 

 “Mr. Johnson!” Mrs. Doughtry erupted, standing up from her seat. “I will not tolerate bullying in my class. You can escort yourself out of the classroom. You know very well where the principal’s office is!” 

Danny gave me a long, sneering look, before rolling his eyes getting out of his seat. “Whatever.” 

Mrs. Doughtry came to our table. “Before you leave, apologize to Miss Adams!” 

 “Sorry, Miss Eggplant.” 

He smirked down at me.

The class erupted into laughter again and Danny snickered with them. The laughter seemed to get louder, and louder, and louder. Fatty. I started to think about the birthday lunch my mom packed for me with a Twinkie for dessert. A Twinkie. That’s what I was.  No, worse, I really was an eggplant. 

It was as if the room was tightening as my breaths were become shorter, constricted. My heart was hammering against my chest and I tried to keep my emotions in. I couldn’t.

Fatty. Fatty. Fatty. Eggplant.           

Before Danny could even leave the room, I threw my chair back and ran out of the room crying. The very next day, my mother called Danny’s mother on the phone. I was horrified when I found out my mother had made that call because I thought it would make it worse. 

The school arranged my classes so that Danny and I were not together in any of them. Kids still teased me in the hall way for a couple of weeks, but it thankfully died down completely before I got into high school. I rarely saw Danny from that moment on, and when I did see him, he never noticed me. I went back to wearing camouflage amongst the rest of my student body. 

Entering as a freshman in high school, I was already twenty pounds lighter than the end of the eight grade. I was always very sensitive about my weight growing up, yet never did anything about it because I was too lazy. 

If I had anything to thank Danny Johnson for, it was for giving me the motivation to drop my all my baby fat throughout high school. Losing that body weight lead to more self-confidence in voicing my opinion. By junior year, I was captain of the debate team, vice president of Spanish club, and president of the student council.

I made high honor roll every marking period. I was teacher’s pet in every class. Once in a while, my principal called me down to the office just to play Connect Four with me.

Junior year, I also had my first boyfriend, Jeremy.  At the end of my junior year, with my math teacher’s permission, Jeremy dressed up like Cupid and came into my class with a bouquet of roses, asking me to prom and to dinner that night. We only lasted until the end of the summer, but I learned a lot from our relationship.          

So you see, my life didn’t end when Danny Johnson called me Eggplant, and his life certainly didn’t end as well. 

Even though Danny had not so much as made eye contact with me since the eighth grade, and a part of me hated his guts, I still kept tabs on him. 

Fast forward to senior year of high school. 

Senior year, Danny was still the most popular guy in school, and by far the most talented athlete in both football and hockey. He had won numerous awards for his athleticism and he was nicknamed “Dan the Man” by all the jocks. Whenever he walked down the hallway, all of the little freshman would throw themselves into the lockers and all of the girls would swoon until their knees gave out and they collapsed to the ground.

Perhaps I’m exaggerating. 

Danny had an on and off again girlfriend throughout high school, who my friends and I accurately nicknamed “Psycho Becky”. He finally broke up with her for good before senior year. Last I heard, she had moved and was now somewhere in Texas… 

Anyway, behind the bad boy and careless attitude that Danny hauled around the school, I knew he was still secretly very smart and, if he applied himself a little more, a bright future ahead of him. 

It was the first day of my senior year, and because my best friends Julie and Hannah had been nonstop gossiping to me by my locker about a new hot French transfer student in the grade below us, I had entered into Mrs. Maverick’s Physics class a hair late. She was unfortunately my teacher sophomore year and had taken on the senior science class this year. She wasn’t exactly the nicest lady. 

 “Do not be late again or I’ll mark it down, Olivia,” she said as I entered the room, looking down at her attendance list and marking off my name. I cringed at the fact that she remembered me. Not a good way to start off the year with a lady like her. “Please find an available seat, so I can start the lesson.” 

 “Sorry,” I muttered. I felt the heat of embarrassment flood my cheeks under all of my peer’s eyes as I tried to find an available seat. This was the eighth grade all over again. Every seat appeared to be taken… 

 “Young man,” Mrs. Maverick said sharply, annoyed, “please remove your backpack and feet from that empty desk.” 

My gaze shifted to the corner of the room towards Mrs. Maverick’s gaze and I nearly had a heart attack. It was the last person I expected to communicate with that day, let alone the entire year.                       

My heart caught in my throat. 

 “Sorry, Mrs. Maverick”.

Smirking a little, Danny lifted his long legs off the chair in front of his desk and placed his backpack on the floor. His usually shaggy brown hair had been recently cut shorter, exposing those large icy blue eyes of his, and he was wearing a navy t-shirt that brought attention to his impressive biceps. 

Now that the seat was available, Danny started to turn his attention towards me, but I quickly focused on my task at hand and weaved between desks to get to the available seat. As I sat down in my seat, I let out the breath I had been holding and the classroom officially removed its attention from me. 

Mrs. Maverick began her introduction to the class.

I felt a certain someone’s gaze at the back of my head. 

A few minutes into the class, I heard Danny’s desk creak behind me, and Danny leaned over his desk towards me. I flatted my palms against my desk, to stop them from shaking. 

Eggplant

 “What’s your name, New Girl?” he asked, and I couldn’t tell if he was serious. We had gone to school together since pre-k, and he didn’t have even the slightest idea who I was? 

I ignored him.           

 “Don’t tell me you’re a tease,” he said, at a volume that only I could hear. “I know everyone in this school. What’s your name, sweetheart?” 

I couldn’t bring myself to turn around and face him, fearing that he would recognize whom I was. I thought I was going to have a heart attack, too. 

 “Olivia,” I said quietly.

 “Olivia.” He said it real slow like, tasting every letter. “I like that name. I’m Danny. Danny Johnson. Where are you from, Olivia?”

 “Danny and Olivia,” Mrs. Maverick snapped, drawing my attention as well as Danny’s to the front of the room. The last thing anyone wanted is for this woman to be irritated with you. She was known for handing out detentions like candy. And although Danny would not care if he was handed a detention, I certainly did. 

“Partners,” the teacher said.

A frown wedged between my eyebrows. Partners? 

Partners for what? 

Mrs. Maverick’s swept the room. “Taylor and Billy. Partners.” She continued to pair up people in the classroom, and then wrote down some directions on the board. “Again, this is an easy project that will be due this Thursday. Together, you and your partner will read the assigned short story, that I am emailing you, then follow the project outline on my website I wrote, here.” She jabbed at the board with her chalk. “You will present this project in small groups. I’m going to give you the rest of the class to work with your partner. The rest must be done on your own time. Please keep your voices at a conversation level...”

I swallowed down a lump in my throat. 

 “So,” Danny leaned over in his seat again, whispering at my ear. “I guess we’re partners now, New Girl.” His next words held a bit of mischief. “Are we working on this at your place, or mine?” 

My mouth fell in a flat line. “I’m not new to this school, Danny. And we can work on it in school.” 

 “That’s no fun. And the computers here are slow. They suck.”

 “Well, that’s what we’re doing,” I snapped. “And by the way, I’ve been going to this school since my freshman year.” 

A pause filled the air. 

“No way.” Danny leaned over in his seat, trying to get a better look at me, but I kept my head forward. “You’re not new? Did you skip a grade, or something?” He didn’t say anything for a few moments. “Why aren’t you facing me, New Girl? Nervous?”

I kept my gaze locked on my desk. 

 “Maybe I’m just uncomfortable with you hitting on me.” 

 “Who said I’m hitting on you?”

 “It’s obvious, Danny.” 

He smiled a tad bashfully, straying away from his usual arrogant character. “Do you want me to hit on you?” 

 “Not really, no, considering you hit on everything with a pulse.” 

 “Oh, I do? And how do you know that?” His voice became more playful. “Are you stalking me, Olivia?” 

 “You’re the Golden Boy of the school.” Now I was really irritated, mostly because I came to the realization that I had been stalking him. “I’d be surprised if anyone in this room didn’t know your middle name.” 

 “Do you hate me, or something?” he asked, slightly hurt.

 “I’m indifferent.” 

 “So if I asked you to, uh, maybe come watch my game tonight?” he asked hopefully, growing slightly nervous. “Maybe come to the after party my friend is throwing?”

 “No.” 

“What if I said that I really wanted you to go.”? His eyes held mine, reminding me of two captivating pools of sapphire. “Would you still say no?” he asked, lowering his voice. 

My entire body lit to flames, but I didn’t answer. 

 “Oh, I get it. I see what this is, now.” Danny chuckled lowly and shifted in his chair, adjusting his long legs so that they caged me into my desk. I could imagine there was a smirk on his face. “You have a boyfriend who played travel hockey with me, and I knocked his pretty teeth out during a game and now you hate everything that is Danny Johnson, right? Happens all the time...” When I didn’t respond to his teasing, his cockiness dropped significantly and he became slightly shyer. “It’s just a game…” 

 My pencil shook slightly between my fingers. Could he quit staring at me? “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

Shoot. You should have said you did!! 

His eyebrows went up. “I’m surprised.” 

I turned around sharply. For a moment, I was stunned at the boy in front of me; the beautiful specimen with the strong shoulders, sharp facial features, perfect hair, and piercing blue eyes.

 “Can you stop?” I asked, finding my words at the bottom of an endless pit. “Stop teasing me, stop trying to be cute, and just stop.” 

He stared at me for the longest time, expression serious, and I started to feel bad for what I said, but then a huge, wolfish grin filled his features. “Not until you agree to come to my game, and the party afterwards.” 

 “This is actually ridiculous. You’re obsessed with me, and technically, for you, we just met. That’s just creepy.” 

 “You’re looking way to into it.” He shrugged his big football player shoulders. “I’m just interested in you.” 

 “So, what you’re telling me is that you’ve tasted the rest of the samples in the school, and the last sample, who has already refused your proposal, is now considered a challenge? Or maybe you’ve watched one of those cliché movies recently, where the jock falls in love with an ugly nobody, and now your life mission is to find that nobody?” 

 “You’re not a nobody.” He let out a short laugh, that icy blue gaze fixated on me. “And you’re not ugly, Olivia…” 

I locked onto his gaze, and we held each other’s attention for a long stretch of time. And in that stretch of time, I wondered if he was serious, if Danny Johnson was actually interested in me, or if this was just a plot against me. Were there hidden cameras in the room? Was this some sort of senior prank? Now I was talking crazy. Of course this wasn’t a prank… 

Which meant Danny was actually interested me… 

My heart fluttered. 

 “Wait a minute…” Danny’s dark eyebrows crunching together, icy blue eyes drifting over my features. “I know you. Where do I know you from?”

I immediately switched my gaze to my notebook. “We need to discuss what we’re going to do with this project,” I shifted from the conversation. 

 “ I know you…” Now he was looking at me from a different angle, and my cheeks were aflame with heat. Oh God, no. Suddenly, Danny’ head straightened, his mouth fell open. “No freaking way—!“ 

 “Mr. Johnson!” Maverick warned from her desk. “Please keep your voice down!” 

Danny held back a smirk, still staring at me. “Sorry, Mrs. Maverick.” 

I bit down on my lip to keep it from trembling. I knew it was coming. Eggplant. What the hell was happening to me? I was stronger than this! I was tough! It was my senior year. I was eighteen years old. I was going to college next year. I was an adult. I was not going to be bullied. I was not going to let a vegetable get to me. 

Danny’s eyes roamed all over me. “Wow,” he whispered. 

 “Don’t say it,” I warned, eyes on fire. “Please, just don’t say it.” 

 “Well, well, well…”Danny’s tongue pressed against his upper lip, leaning back into his chair. “I must say puberty was definitely very kind to you, Eggplant.” Sensing my irritated reaction, he quickly added, “I’m kidding, come on.” 

Shaking my head, I began to write down the website the teacher left on the board. “You’re a pig. You’re an absolute pig, Danny Johnson. And you’re a bully. Just because you’re pretty and a hotshot in high school, doesn’t mean you can treat people however you want to treat them. Maybe you calling me Eggplant really affected me, and you would have no idea, because you kept living your life like nothing had ever happened. Maybe I exercised to lose that baby weight, because you called me Eggplant. You don’t know me, Danny Johnson. You really don’t.” 

Abruptly, Danny slid his desk on the left side of mine, and because my chair was attached to the desk and there was an arm wrest on my right side, he caged me in. 

 “Olivia, look at me,” Danny said. “I had no idea you went through all of that—“                       

 “I don’t want your pity, Danny.” 

He turned my chin, forcing me to look him in the eyes. “I’m so sorry, Olivia...” 

 “Thank you.” I pulled my face away from his. “Now let’s move on. Let’s get this project done, then go back to our groups.” 

 “You’re mad at me.” Danny was completely invading my space with his big, muscular frame. How was Mrs. Maverick not seeing this? And, most importantly, why was he being so nice to me? This was certainly not the Danny Johnson I had envisioned in my mind and witnessed walking down the halls, for the past four years…

  “I’m sorry, Olivia,” Danny said, carefully watching my reaction. I couldn’t even meet his gaze, I was so anxious. Danny Johnson, the most attractive guy in school, was inches away from me.

I sighed a little. “I guess I’ll forgive you...”

“This is good. We’re get along, see?” A beam spread on his face that was absolutely contagious. “Come to my game tonight? Maybe we can hang out after, like go to a party or something?” 

My cheeks heated slightly. A part of me still thought this was a prank, or that I was dreaming. Danny Johnson had asked me to come to his game? 

“Sure,” I said. 

The rest of the day was a blur spent daydreaming about watching Danny’s game. 

When I was done with my last class of the day, I immediately met up with my friends Hannah and Julie at the coffee shop across from our school. I told them everything that had happened in English. My friend’s approval was extremely important. A part of me hoped that my friends would tell me this was ridiculous, that Danny was totally playing me, like I secretly thought he was. 

When I was done talking, I realized that neither of my best friends had blinked once throughout the entire rant, and their mouths were both open in a wide ‘O'.           

Hannah and Julie looked at each other at the same time and shouted, “I call bridesmaid number one!”       

I started getting ready an hour and a half in advance. With Hannah and Julie’s help at the store, I had bought a whole new outfit. It was still hot outside but I knew the ice rink would be cold, I decided on getting a vintage light blue dress with a sweater over it, a sunflower necklace, and my favorite pair of converse. I tamed down my wavy dark brown hair with some oils and did a light makeup job.

When I was applying some clear lip-gloss that was when I realized Danny might kiss me later on that night, and I began to get more nervous than ever before. What if I was a terrible kisser? What if I missed his mouth? What if he didn’t kiss me because he realized he didn’t like me?

Due to unforeseen traffic, I was a little late to Danny’s game. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people in the stands, but I still managed a great seat against the glass. As the game began, I spotted Danny because of the number on his jersey and I didn’t look away from him the rest of the game. He was aggressive, knocking guys into the glass, the quickest skater in the game, and also the one who scored the most. At the end of the game, the players shook hands and Danny took off his helmet, standing in the middle of the rink. Those icy blue eyes scanned the stands.

I waved my arm. He spotted me immediately and rushed over the ice towards me, playfully smacking into the glass. I laughed hysterically, that fluttering sensation in my chest.

He winked at me.

“I’m glad you came, but I gotta take a shower!” Danny’s slightly muffled voice shouted through the glass. “Too sweaty! Wait for me?” 

I nodded. 

A little while later, Danny was dressed in a t-shirt and jeans. He walked towards my spot in the stands with his giant hockey bag over hooked over his shoulder and his skates in in his free hand. 

Danny smiled as he came closer. “Hey.” 

“Hey,” I said shyly. 

“You look pretty, Olivia.” His icy blue gaze drifted over my outfit, and my face burned. “I’m guessing you were planning on coming to that party with me, huh?”

 “Yes.”

“A part of me didn’t think you were going to come.” Danny set his bag down on the floor, plopping down next to me on the bench. His hair was wet and messy and his blue eyes appeared brighter and wider under the florescent lights of the ice rink. “I would of understood, you know, after what I did to you…” 

“Danny, you apologized, and what happened between us was a long time ago. I wanted to come see you.” 

“Oh…well, that makes me happy then.” He grinned, a light flush staining his cheeks. “Did you enjoy the game?” he wondered.

“Yes! Once again, you amazed me out there.” 

 “You’ve seen me play before?” he asked, skeptical. His cologne was spicy and made me want to lean into him. “I’ve never seen you in the stands…” 

 “You didn’t even know who I was, before today.”

 “I know, I know.” He shook his head at himself, and then smiled bashfully. “I’ve been seriously missing out. I’m sorry about that, by the way. Not remembering you immediately. Must have made you feel awful...” 

 “I forgive you.” I laughed a little nervously. I’ve never felt like this around a guy before. “I’ve been to a few of your games with my friends,” I admitted shyly, now feeling is full attention on me. “I’ve always liked watching hockey.”

And watching you, I didn’t add.           

Too creepy.

“Oh, really?” Danny’s icy blue eyes fixated on my lips for a fraction of a second, before lifting up. “Then you should definitely come to my game on Saturday.” 

 “Will you be really sweaty afterwards?” I joked. 

 “Without a doubt.” He wiggled his eyebrows, then shrugged out of his jacket and casually flexed his arms for me. “And extremely shirtless. Not just shirtless. Extremely shirtless. The one thing I refuse to wear after a game is a shirt.” 

We fell into a fit of laughter. 

For the next thirty minutes, Danny and I got on a more serious topic and discussed college, and what we wanted to do with our life. I wanted to be a veterinarian. Danny’s dream job involved hockey, but he was planning on settling with something involving advertising. He wasn’t sure if he was good enough to go professional in hockey. We talked for a long time, never losing interest in what each other had to say. 

“Are you kidding me? Do what you love as a career, not what you have to settle on!” I punched him lightly on the arm, making him chuckle. “You’ve won so many awards and you’re motivated. You move out there on the rink as if you skated before you learned how to walk. You’re gifted. You are an incredible athlete, Danny Johnson. This is going to sound corny, but I believe in you. You could totally go pro.” 

When Danny didn’t respond to me, I tore my gaze away from the rink and looked up at him. He was staring at me with the oddest expression. 

“What?” I asked, laughing a little nervously.

 “Do you know how to skate?” he asked.

“I mean I’ve done it a few times. I’m not very good.” I eyed him skeptically as he bent down to retrieve his skates. “We’re not...? Danny, I can’t! I’m going to embarrass myself!” 

“Oh come on, it’ll be fun! I won’t let you fall. I’ll hold your hand.” He winked at me and stood up to his impressive height. “The rink doesn’t close for a couple of hours. I’ll go rent you some skates?”

My heart was hammering against my chest at the mere thought of Danny holding my hands. “What about the party?” I asked, biting down on my lip a little. 

“Forget about the party.” He inclined his head towards the rink. “This will be much more fun, I promise.”

Ten minutes later, Danny and I were out on the ice.

My legs were wobbling a bit at first, but Danny helped me keep my balance. 

“It’s kind of like walking,” Danny coached me, skating backwards with my hands in his. “Just don’t think about falling. Just follow my movements.” 

After we did a few laps, I made a show of going a little faster, getting the hang of it.

“You’re a natural,” Danny whispered in my ear. “

My heart palpitated. “I think I’m ready to race you!” I teased. 

He grinned at me. “Oh yeah?” 

There was no way I was ready. “Yeah!” I laughed.

Danny let go of my hands and glided next to me, falling into a runners stretch, carefully balancing on his skates “Ready….set…” He looked over at me, winking. “Go!”

Danny skated away from me, faster than the speed of light. His varsity jacket lifted away from his waist as he whipped around the rink, and I laughed at the different spins and tricks he did. 

“Slow poke!” he shouted as he went past me. 

“Not fair!”

 Danny soared past me a few more times, once of which I landed a playful punch to his arm. 

“Hey, I heard that!” He pivoted around and raced towards me. “I’m going to get you!” 

I screamed, trying to skate off the rink, but Danny hooked a muscular arm around my waist and lifted me straight off my feet, skating with me. “Put me down!” I laughed into his neck. “Oh my god, you’re going so fast! You’re going to drop me on my butt! Or my skull! Ahhh!” 

“This is nothing for me. You’re a hundred pounds, soaked!” He started to spin around with me in his arms, grinning down at me. “Weeeee!” 

By the time Danny put me down, we were both laughing so hard that we were crying. Danny held me close for a moment. I could hear his heart racing in his chest, and his warms were around mine. As if just noticing we were holding hands, he tightened his fingers. 

I looked up at Danny and our laughter slowly faded. 

“I’m, uh, glad we didn’t go to that party,” he said a tad awkwardly, suddenly nervous. 

I looked down at his lips. “Me too.” 

Danny’s beautiful face was just a few inches away, and he was leaning in closer and closer.

Our mouths slanted perfectly over one another, tongues intertwined and lips pressed flushed against each other. Danny deepened the kiss, pushing his long fingers through my hair. He was a great kisser.

When we separated, both of us looked a little stunned. 

“That was…” I trailed off and touched my tingling lips, giggling a little. “Wow.” 

“Wow is right,” he agreed, and then kissed me again. “I want to announce that you do not smell nor taste like an eggplant. I was a little skeptical at first, before I kissed you, but I’m positive that you’re in fact a human being now…”

He stuck his tongue out at me.

 “You’re so funny,” I said sarcastically, glowering a little, but my lips quickly lifted up in amusement.

 “I hope I didn’t just ruin my chances of you coming to my game again on Saturday.” His finger traced a shape on the back of my hand, which was still intertwined with his. “We could hang out again after? Maybe get something to eat?”

I snorted a little, deciding to tease him again. “Before the eggplant joke, I would have immediately been on board with that. But now, I might have to think about it…”

Danny Johnson grinned down at me, already knowing my answer.

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