Status: Hiatus--Last Update was 7.23.12 (Chapter Twenty-Two PREVIEW)

Love in Ice




I covered my ears as my best friend Sam howled through the phone. I had explained to her everything that happened at my job just hours before. I was cleaning around my apartment, and I had placed the phone on the counter with it on speaker.

So much for a relaxing Friday night.

"You heard what I said, Sam. Vance asked me to go on a date with him, and I accepted. How hard is that to understand?"

"Alex, you can't go on this date with some guy you talked with twice before! You don't know what he's capable of!"

"The whole point of a date is to talk with someone you've just met and get to know them better, isn't it? Besides, he seemed really nice both times. What's not to trust?"

Sam stalled a while before asking, "What about Nemo?"

"What about him? He's my best friend."

I paused before continuing, pushing it out of a deep sigh, "And that's all it'll ever amount to be. Sammy, we haven't talked since we were in the locker room. Not even on the plane back. What did I do wrong? I would really like to talk to him, but I think I've just scared him."

"...I'm sorry sweetie, I'm not trying to sound like I'm blaming you. Nemo...I'm pretty sure he wants to talk to you, too. How about you call him--"

My cell phone rang once, and I knew it was a text message. I noticed it was from Vance and opened it immediately.

Hey there ;) How does tomorrow night at seven sound?

"What was that, Lexa? Was that from Nemo or from Vance?"

"From Vance. It's not like I'm going to marry Vance, Sam. I should give him a chance, shouldn't I?"

"I guess...I still don't trust him. He seems pretty shady, especially if he found you so quickly."

She had a point there. Vance had located me rather quickly. I hadn't even told him I lived in the city. How did he find out where I worked?

"You still there Lexa?"

"Yeah. I think I'm going to try things out. I at least owe him that chance."

"Don't you owe Nemo that chance, too?"

"I have to get him to talk to me again, Sammy. If I do get him back on normal terms, then I'll just have to wait. It would be rushed. Not only that, but I might also lose everything I have with him."

"If? You'll get him back to you, don't worry! You said it yourself, you two are best friends. You're not going to be separated for a long time."

"I sure hope you're right. Wish me luck!"

"Good luck!" She muttered something under her breath, and I asked, "What did you say? I didn't hear you--"

"Nothing! I didn't say anything! Promise me you'll tell me all about it after!"

She hung up on me before I got the chance to ask her to help me decide what to wear for tomorrow. I guess I had to fight this one on my own. I pondered a little before rushing to my closet. Although Sam had given me a compelling reason to doubt Vance, the excitement of being with Vance was undeniable.

I looked through my closet to find something suitable for both the date and the weather, finally landing on a beautiful short-sleeved top, dark blue and green decorating it. I found some pants that matched the blue as well as some ankle boots. High heels were not an option, especially with the cold weather making conditions as bad as they were.

I set everything aside so I would remember for the next day. All I had planned for tomorrow was to study for a test in one of my classes on Tuesday. Turning around to my phone, I texted Vance that the time was perfect. He quickly texted back, saying that he would pick me up at my apartment, and I sent him the address.

After the text was sent, I flipped through my contacts and saw Nemo's number. Guilt and worry met me head-on, and I discovered that I wanted him to talk to more and more. If I hadn't been so stupid to scare him like that, then I would have been telling him all about Vance.

Hold on. Sam said to give Nemo a chance. Does that mean he has stronger feelings? For me?

Just the sound of that gave my heart the opportunity to leap. Whatever I was feeling was not about to go away anytime soon.


Usually when a person is waiting for a certain time of the day, time sluggishly passes. Counting down the hours until the date with Vance was an exception. Nervousness filled me the whole day, and the planned study time became more difficult than I wanted. Several times did it cross my mind that this date was entirely wrong. I contemplated contacting Vance to cancel, but by the time I punched in the message I had convinced myself otherwise.

I took my time getting ready for the date, making sure I relieved all doubt from my mind. Styling my hair was easy; I kept my hair in its natural wavy look. I dressed into the outfit I picked out the day before, adding a wristwatch and changing purses. My nerves nearly got a hold of me while I was doing my makeup, but I controlled them and put it on. I commended myself on picking something that had matched Vance's request for clothing: semi-formal but comfortable.

Riles ran into my room, sniffing at the unfamiliar shoes I wore. He barked once after recognizing me, sitting on the floor directly in front of me. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, and I smiled to myself, satisfied. A buzz broke the silence, and I looked over at the clock, noticing that it was time to leave. I slipped on my winter jacket, adding gloves and a scarf to keep warm.

As I made my way outside, the feelings from before returned but much stronger. Regret stung my thoughts as I decided against calling Nemo yesterday. I knew I could not just get things to return to normal right away, and I needed to see him in person. I planned to text him after the date to see when I could visit him.

I opened the door to the apartment complex, stepping into the chilling December air.

"Hi Alexandra. It's nice to see you again."

I turned to the voice and saw Vance standing there with a smile on his face. A dimple appeared on his left cheek, and I shifted in place, obviously uneasy.

"Hi Vance. I hope you didn't wait outside for too long. It's cold out here."

"No, I just got here a couple of minutes ago. Are you ready to go?"

"Yeah, I sure am." He held out his arm, and I hooked onto it. We walked to his truck, a dark blue Ford Explorer. Vance opened the passenger side door for me, and I climbed in. He went over to the driver side, getting in.

After a silent fifteen minute drive, we pulled up to the familiar sight of Olive Garden. I was relieved that we were not going to an extra fancy place. I went through the motions of getting out of the truck and walking with Vance into the restaurant.

I scanned the lobby quickly and found that it did not have that much business for its usual dinnertime chaos. Within minutes a waitress led us to our table, and the nerves grew stronger. Vance somehow knew my unease, and he wrapped an arm around my waist. It did not help one bit to release the tension.

Once seated at our table, we were handed our menus. I took a curious glance to the waitress, seeing how she eyed my companion. However, Vance did not take notice and instead locked eyes with me, making me look away immediately. I did not want to meet his eyes again, knowing my face would only deepen in color. Instead, I quickly removed my winter attire.

"You look wonderful," Vance mused, a slight color added to his face. My face was for sure five times worse, and I took a quick look at him. He donned a black dress shirt with a gray, patterned tie, and he looked very sharp. I quietly responded, "Thank you. You look good yourself." Before I allowed myself the opportunity to stutter, I browsed through the menu to see what I would eat.

After we both ordered our food, I felt a little more comfortable with Vance. Looking over to him, I watched as he put his phone in his pocket. I must have had an inquisitive expression on my face because he explained, "That was my mom. She said she wanted to talk to me, but I told her I would call her back. I told her about our date, and she couldn't have hung up the phone faster."

We both laughed, and I asked him, remembering what happened just three days before, "So what dog were you thinking of adopting?"

"You know that little brown-and-white cocker spaniel you were taking care of on Wednesday? Lilly?" I nodded, knowing exactly the puppy he talked about. "I adopted her, and she's been a little angel."

"Yeah, she's got that charm to her that just attracts people to her."

"That's definitely true." He paused, and I noticed that he had his gaze focused on me with a mischievous smile. I took a sip of the water I had, my face needing something to cool it down.

"Do you have a dog, Alex?"

"I do, in fact. A Norfolk terrier named Riles. He's almost the polar opposite of Lilly, but he does obey me."

"Maybe one of these days we can walk our dogs together," he posed, more as a question than a suggestion.

"I don't see why not. That sounds like a perfect idea." I ate some of the salad I had placed on my plate earlier, watching as he smiled a bright smile. That was much normal compared to the smile just moments ago.

"How did you like the game in Pittsburgh?"

"I had a great time there. The Hawks played really well, passing the puck, defending their ice--they deserved that win. As for me, it was a bit different seeing Penguins jerseys around me instead of Hawks jerseys, especially since it was my first time at an away game. What did you think?"

"I agree with you there. Makes you feel really optimistic about the season, right? That back-up goalie they've got there is really something."

I automatically smiled and said, "Yeah, Niemi is amazing."

Nemo was not even here, and yet my heart raced as if he was sitting across from me. I suddenly wanted to talk to him, but I still needed to see if we were okay.

I sighed to myself. I was on a date with Vance, but I wished a certain blue-eyed man was with me instead. 'However', my negative thoughts attacked, 'whatever I felt around him certainly did not happen when he was around me...' Looking back at Vance, I rid all the thoughts of Nemo from my mind and focused on the smirking man staring back.

We paused after a while to eat our dinner, Vance and I continued to casually chat in between bites. He did not try to drop anymore sly comments that had added meanings, which came as a total relief to me.

When we finished, our waitress placed the check on the table. Vance and I reached out at the same moment to get it, and my hand grabbed it first. For a moment Vance's hand hesitated and I thought for a moment he would pull his hand back. However, he slipped his hand under mine, and I shook my head. I stated firmly, "I am not allowing you to pay all of it. I'm going to pay my half."

"That's very kind of you, but I'll pay it all."

I quickly snatched it out of his grasp and finished, "Nope. I mean what I say, and I'm paying half."

I opened the little booklet and saw a piece of paper along with the check. I said jokingly, handing him the little slip our waitress left, "I believe this is for you."

Vance took one look at it, seeing the phone number written on it, and crumpled it, dumping it into the half-empty glass of water he had. I raised an eyebrow at this, and he responded, shaking his head, "I didn't come here for her. Plus, I came here with you."

I blushed, smiling slightly at his words. Did I actually feel threatened by the waitress? I did not understand it, but rather than pondering those thoughts, I placed my half of the bill into the booklet and handed it to Vance. He placed his money in there, and the waitress took it.

We both stood up, pulling on our jackets. I took the box of leftovers I had and followed him to his truck. Before I knew it, Vance had pulled up to my apartment building. I took my time in getting out of his truck, and I was surprised to see him get out as well.

He walked me to the door of the apartment complex, and I reached into my purse to get the keys. Vance said, "I had a great time with you, Alexandra."

"So did I. I hope we can do this again sometime."

What was I saying? One thing was for sure; I had no control over what was pouring out of my mouth.

"I'm sorry if this is being too forward."

I pulled out the keys, and I turned over to Vance, confused at what he said. "Wait, what do--"

My last words were withheld, and all I could feel--even through the cold weather--was Vance's warm, soft lips touching mine lightly. I could not move at all; it was so spontaneous, I didn't know how to react in that moment.

Vance took a step back and let out a sigh. I stared at him, wondering what he was going to do next. He muttered, nodding curtly, "Good night."

I quickly reached out and grabbed his hand, making him face me once more. Before I could comprehend what I was doing, our lips met for the second time. I felt myself tense up once more, my stomach figuratively twisting in knots. I was overcome by a numbing pain that sparked a shocking thought, which I, with great effort, pushed away.

What about Nemo?
♠ ♠ ♠
Alex's Outfit

Hey you guys! I know this chapter may not have been the best chapter (especially because of what happens), but if you read my journal, you vaguely know what will happen. Don't worry, the story will turn for the better soon. I promise.

Thank you for getting me up to 152 readers and 24 subscribers! It comes as a total shock to me, but that makes me so happy. I know this is very common on this site, but I would really love comments to see how you guys like the story. If you could leave one, that would mean the world to me. Thank you guys!