Day 2: Cuddling
He didn’t often invite her over to his apartment; more often his parents asked him to bring her to dinner, and then they would have a slightly awkward but generally enjoyable time where his father would try to pry into the details of their relationship while his mother would chastise his father for doing so, even though it seemed like she was curious as well. May always tried to answer their questions as best she could. Though they were both rather proper and strict in everything, they weren’t bad people. She could see where Drew had inherited his tight-laced demeanor.
But that made it all the more enjoyable when they opened up - especially him.
So she was a little surprised when one night Drew invited her to dine at his apartment, located close to the shore of Lilycove. She had arrived in town for the next contest, which was starting in a few days and in which Drew had decided not to participate. They tried not to compete against each other in any contests before the Grand Festival each year, though sometimes they would still do so out of necessity. It was a difficult each time because of their fierce competitiveness and his perfectionistic streak, but they always made up afterwards, squashing their silly prides and insecurities. He tended to be especially sweet whenever he won against her, which she secretly felt was worth the loss.
Of course, she would never say that aloud.
But tonight was different. It had seemed almost spontaneous, which was not very Drew-like behavior. Tonight she had arrived a little earlier than he had expected, which had subsequently placed more pressure on him and his culinary skill, so she had obediently waited close to the entrance before he finally declared that the preparations were complete. She wasn’t sure why he had decided to make dinner for her at his place, but she felt she knew why he seemed more agitated than usual. When he became agitated his speech was clipped, his actions even more severe and absent of flair than usual, and he would sometimes take a much longer time to deliberate before answering her questions. She noticed all of this tonight, deduced that her early entry had unbalanced him, and wisely held her tongue until he finally loosened up and let her in. As she walked in he came behind her, took her coat, pulled out the chair for her and took his seat, all the while trying not to seem like he was trying to impress her.
He always did try so hard to impress.
She complimented everything from the food to the candles, though not to the point of gushing, because that would have offended him. She also refrained from complimenting the rose-scented air fresheners that he had undoubtedly used and stashed in secret before she had arrived, because she knew that he secretly knew that she loved those, and it would have embarrassed him to admit it.
They ate, May savoring each bite while Drew probably internally critiqued it. Of course it was delicious; he perfected everything he did before feeling confident enough to present it.
During dinner he mentioned almost nonchalantly - though not quite - that he had something else to occupy them for the evening, after they finished dinner. She wondered at this and teased him a little to see if she could have him reveal it, though she knew he wouldn’t. He was adamant, refusing to reveal anything, though adding a little saucily that if she were a good girl and finished her vegetables, he might reveal it earlier. Equally saucy, she left one piece of spinach on her plate. He raised an eyebrow at that. She laughed.
This was why she loved him.
When he had cleared the table - he had insisted on doing all of it himself, though she had offered to help - he told her to close her eyes as he led her to the balcony, the door of which he had kept shuttered and closed tonight, which was unusual. She let him lead her there, his hands on her shoulders, as she listened to the sounds of his footsteps and his opening the balcony doors. The instant he opened them, a low wash of sound and night air came over her, and she took a breath as he told her to open her eyes. She did so, and her heart leapt.
He had laid out candles here too, and strewn the railing with soft strings of lights, and where his balcony had been bare before he had planted a row of miniature pink-and-red roses that almost glowed with the light from the candles and strings. What really caught her eye, however, was the view of the Lilycove streets. A few months ago she had mentioned Lilycove’s annual parade, the Night of Flowers, to him and how beautiful it would be to watch it from above, and tonight he whispered to her that he had remembered.
So that was why.
Another surprise awaited her - a cushioned loveseat, complete with a blanket to keep them warm during the night. She couldn’t stop smiling for some silly reason as he led her over. It was all just so sweet and overdone that she couldn’t stand it. She felt as if she would burst with the happiness.
After he took his seat next to her, she moved closer, letting their hands, their knees, their thighs, their shoulders touch. He pulled the blanket over her and tenderly tucked her in. At that, she leaned in and pecked him on the cheek, drawing back just a little to look at him. Her heart stopped as it always did when she looked into his clear green eyes, now more than ever because they reflected the warm lights that surrounded them. At first he was taken by surprise. But then he seemed to open up, because he took her face in his hands ever so gently and kissed her back.
She felt an odd mixture of solemnity and boyish ecstasy in that kiss. It summed him up rather well.
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