Forces (of the Universe)

Nick and Rosie have known each other forever. They are opposites that somehow keep colliding. Between their sibbling's romance, Rosie's serious boyfriend, and living hundred of miles apart, it seems as though they'll never have the chance to be together. Fate and luck have other plans. *Yikes, sorry I can't get the spacing to work!

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2. Blush

"Hey," says Chris one day, leaning on the white doorframe. His skin is pale in the wintertime.   Jo looks up from the page she's writing on, and sets down her pen. She's laying all the way down on the bed to the right, the one with the gray sheets. She smiles. "Hey," she says. "What's up?"   He leans further into the doorframe. The floorboards creek under his bare feet. His grin is crooked. "Want to go for a walk?" he says.   Jo nods, and sets the little book down on the nightstand between the two beds. She puts her feet on the floor and gets up off the mattress. "Bella's not here though," she says. "I think she's helping get dinner ready." Her eyes fall away from his for a moment.   Chris bites his lip shyly. "That's okay," he says, taking his time with the syllables. "I wanted to go with you anyway." He stares. He's waiting for her to say something.   She smiles, and her eyes dip down and look at the floor. They come back up to meet his. "Okay," she says.   "After you," he tells her, and holds his arm out to guide her. She almost giggles but catches herself, and goes first down the hall and then the stairs.   Jo can hear him behind her. She's all aware of her speed and her steps. Her heart beats in her chest. "So what's for dinner?" says Chris. They're at the bottom of the stairs. He catches her so that they're walking side by side, now.   "Thompson pasta," she says. She doesn't know if she should be looking at him or not. "Your mom is making it. And Bella. And Nick, maybe."   "We just finished." Bella comes around the corner. They're at the front door now, stopped between the hallway that leads to the kitchen and the mudroom. "What's up?"   Chris feels caught. "We're going on a walk," he says, and straightens himself. He sucks in a breath.   "You should come," says Jo, because she has to. She is torn between not wanting Bella to come along and feeling guilty for not wanting Bella along.   Bella's hair tie comes out, and she hisses. She puts it around her wrist, and reaches into her pockets, looking for something. "Can't," she says, still looking down. "I have to shower before we eat. See you, though." She walks quickly down the hall and up the stairs, still searching her many pockets.   Jo half shrugs at him. She grabs their coats off the rack, and hands Chris his. They put them on, looking funny and thick. Chris finds his boots by the door. He opens the door for her, and lets her past. His head is ducked down and his face is happy. She smiles too. "Where are we going?" she says, when they're outside.   Their boots are making deep prints in the snow. It's fresh and white. "This way," says Chris, and points to the left. They turn. Their bodies are side by side. They walk in silence for a moment. They breathe in the wind.   "So what were you writing?" says Chris.   Jo's spooked by the noise. It's sudden. "What?" she says, and watches the snow.   His voice goes slow again. "In the notebook, in your room." Chris is still in expression. He's waiting. He wants to know. The snow keeps falling on the tops of their heads.   She breathes out. "Oh," says Jo, and it comes out a little surprised. "Everything. I mean, about the yellow house. Everything."   Chris bites his lips and his eyes go goofy at her. He stops. She stops. "So it's a diary," he says, and draws out the last word with his tongue.   She hits him softly with her little hand that comes out of the sleeves of her big coat. She grins at his grin, and then she stops and nods. "Yeah, I mean it's all about the yellow house. So kind of, not really." They're facing each other.   He nods too. "Do you write about me in it?" he says, and he's playful again.   "I write about everyone," says Jo, ignoring him. There's snow on her eyelashes. She starts to walk.   Chris's eyes are big. "I mean," he says, "do you write about your huge crush on me."   Jo little hand comes out and hits him again, a little harder. He laughs. She's red from the cold and from embarrassment. "What makes you think that I like you?" says Jo too defensively.   Chris puts his hands in his pockets and pretends to think. "Well," he says. "You stare at me all though yesterday's dinner. You laughed at all of my jokes this morning, even when no one else did and even when they weren't funny. You agree to go on a walk with just me, and look relieved when Bella can't come." He stops. "And you're blushing," he says.   Jo laughs and gets shy. "Shut up," she says, but she trails off at the end. She's focused on looking at the snow. It floats in the air like boats in the water, bobbing and bouncing and dancing. It spins like little tornados in the air.   "Fine," Jo says. "Maybe I do write about you." She crosses her arms in front of her chest and stares at him with defiant eyes.   His eyes are big again. "And..." he says, exaggerating his curiousness. "What do you say?"   Her brows go down and in. "Stop making it all a joke!" she says. "Stop being like that, because I can't tell if you're serious." Her face is red with anger and excitement, now. Her toes are numb and there is snow in her boots. They are far away from the yellow house.   Chris stops her by touching her arm lightly. He turns to face her, his toes pointing at her toes, which are pointing at his. The gleam is gone from his eyes. "I'm serious," he says. His face is calm. "What does it say? What do you think of me? I want to know."   Her lips are pink. They stand close and still, each of them cold and burning. There is snow in his hair and snow in her hair. Her eyes are a light, melting brown. His mouth is crooked. When they kiss, it's like fire consumes them.   She breaks it. Jo bites down on her lip and looks up into his face. Soft flakes come down onto her nose and turn to water. "It says you're sexy," she says, and she laughs high and loud.   He laughs at the sound of her laugh and holds her in his arms as her teeth shine. Their bodies are frozen and their minds are fire, laughing, laughing.

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