Ross Miller lay in bed, studying the ceiling. It was barely dawn, but the sun was slightly shining in along the closed blinds, casting a unique shadow across the stucco ceiling. There were thousands - probably hundreds of thousands of little dots, and as the sun slowly came up from the horizon, more and more of the dots slowly grew shadows, which danced across the entirety of the room. It had to have been something like 6:00am, but Ross was wide awake. He'd woken up about twenty minutes before, but couldn't get back to sleep. So much had been going on, so much was happening, and his mind was racing.
((Ross Miller continued from Save Tonight))
Most Sunday mornings would have Ross sleeping in, almost until noon. He'd then go downstairs, make himself some breakfast, and laze the day away. If he were feeling real adventurous, then perhaps he'd go to the mall, or even out on a walk. The weather certainly had turned around as of late. But today was a very different story. It was no ordinary Sunday. In fact, Ross couldn't help but go over all of the events that had transpired over the last few weeks that had lead him to this moment on this particular Sunday. On occasion, he'd heard people say that 'life comes at you fast', and indeed, he felt like he knew exactly how true that saying could be. As he lay in bed, counting stucco dots on the ceiling, he wondered how much quicker life was going to be moving as he started to get older.
The girl sleeping up against his chest stirred and mumbled something in her sleep, clutching on to him closer.
Not too quickly, he hoped.
As Ross glanced down at the sleeping form of Ariana Moretti beside him, he smiled, and couldn't help a light laugh to himself. Life really did come at you fast. This was somewhere that he never expected himself to be in a million years, but here he was, and by God, he was going to enjoy every solitary second of it. The rise and fall of Ross' chest slightly moved the sleeping girl, which was enough to rouse her from her slumber. Taking a deep breath, she inhaled, yawned, and blinked a few times, her eyes fluttering open as consciousness returned to her. The room had a pale orange glow from the small amounts of light that tumbled through the blinds. Ariana preferred not to wake up overly early herself, and since her room faced the rising sun each morning, the blinds were necessary.
((ARIANA MORETTI PREGAME START and continued from Douchebros and Woo-Girls))
Her mind starting to come back to her, she became conscious of the fact that she was sleeping on Ross, and she smiled a sleepy smile. "Hey, you."
"Hey yourself. Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you." His voice was soft, but earnest. This wasn't a position that he had ever been in before, so he was inwardly a little concerned about saying or doing the wrong thing. In response to his apology, Ariana pulled herself up, gently grabbed his face and kissed him.
"No need to apologize," she said with a smile as she let his face go. His apologetic look was replaced with a grin of his own. "Did you sleep okay?"
Ross nodded. He genuinely had. Her mattress was a lot more comfortable than his. It was just the fact that he was here, in a strange bed, with a girl who, as he felt with her body pressed to his, was naked...
It was an unfamiliar place for him to be, so when he'd woken up, his mind had started off running.
"Yeah, it was great. Just woke up, and... you know how my mind is."
She nodded back and patted his chest twice. They'd spent the vast majority of the last two weeks together, and her initial impressions of him had been correct. Ross Miller was someone with a sharp mind that rivalled hers, but with the one drawback that he often couldn't shut it off.
It hadn't taken very long for Ariana to take a liking to the easygoing Ross. After the two had met at Connor's party, they'd spent the remainder of the night chatting over beers and respectively making one another laugh. They'd exchanged numbers and made a promise to hang out sooner, rather than later. Of course, when they'd bumped into one another the following Monday at school, they'd gotten to talking, and their respective friends had cleared out immediately, letting the two be. They'd started having lunches together, and on that first weekend post-party, they'd attended the same music hall in town with their respective groups of friends, who had once more given them a wide berth as the two had naturally gravitated towards one another.
By this point, everyone could see the obvious attraction that was setting forth between the two, but when Ariana's friends had confronted her about it, she'd shrugged it off as though it was just a close friendship. She'd privately thought otherwise, of course, but she wanted to see how things go - her dating history was spotty as it was, and she hadn't heard anything about this guy at all, so she had no information to go off of. The following week had been more of the same at school, with the two convening for lunches, though Ariana had started to drop small hints to Ross that she might have been interested. He'd seemingly not picked up on it, but when she'd invited him over to her house for a movie night, the senior had gotten a deer-in-headlights look in his eyes as he'd stammered an agreement.
It was adorable. By this point, Ariana had decided that she genuinely liked this joker, and since her father was going to be out of town covering an extra shift or two in Nashville, she figured that it would at least be the perfect excuse for her to make a move on him, in the comfort of her own home. She didn't have a whole lot of faith that the nervous boy would seize his own opportunity.
She couldn't remember at what point one of them had made a move, but it had just come naturally. One moment they'd been joking around, whacking each other with pillows after a particularly rude joke, and the next...
Ariana traced a pattern on Ross' chest, absently running her finger around in circles. This had not been the first time that she had slept with someone, and she was far from experienced, but she knew her way around a bedroom. Poor Ross had not, and had been visibly nervous, which had somehow been more endearing to her. She had tried to be kind and non-judgemental, and when they'd finished, she could see an unbelievable weight lifted off of his shoulders. The poor guy thought about too much, and kept the weight of the world with him far too often. For such an outwardly easygoing person, he had the propensity to get tense.
He wasn't tense right now - in fact, far from it. While she could tell that his mind was going, the contented look on his face told her that he was probably replaying every bit of the last few weeks to himself.
"Hey R?" Ariana had gotten into the habit of short-forming his name rather quickly as a response to his own hacking off of the second syllable of her own name. She didn't let many people call her 'Ari', but for Ross, she'd make an exception.
He looked down at her with a smile. "What's up, Ari?"
Had it been his initiative that had lead them here? Something in the back of her mind seemed to recall that it had been him who had made the first move. Everything had happened so fast.
"I've really enjoyed spending time with you over the last few weeks." She pulled herself closer to him, a gesture which he helped along by pulling her in. "Me too."
She wasn't sure how much he needed things spelled out, but she knew her own brain, and she wasn't the kind of woman who beat around the bush about things. So she didn't.
"I'd like to keep spending time together. I really like you."
To her mild surprise, Ross laughed out loud, with none of the softness that he'd had before. It was a genuine belly laugh, and he laughed for a moment, Ariana's eyebrow raised at the odd reaction. He took the free hand that was not helping keep her close, and gestured towards the two of them, laying nude in bed together.
"I, uh, I kind of gathered that. I like you too."
Oh. Ariana suddenly realized what was so funny - and perhaps it was the weight of getting it out in the open that came off of her shoulders, but she started to laugh too, and so the two of them lay there, laughing with one another for a moment. As the laughter subsided, they lay in silence, both watching the shadows continue to dance along the ceiling, the orange glow becoming more pronounced as the sun kept on rising.
"Good." She broke the silence. Where she was about to head next was a spot that she wasn't as familiar with, and it was as uncharted territory for her as she assumed it was for Ross. She enjoyed the feeling of being close with another human being for one more moment before she spoke again.
"So maybe the next time you get invited to another shitty Connor party, you can make sure to secure an invitation for your girlfriend too." She let the words hang there, and as the magic word left her mouth, Ross' eyes went wide for a moment. Her own heart fluttered. Relationships weren't necessarily her forte, but Ross made her feel like she mattered, in his own kind way, and she had been very aware of how their contrasting personalities complimented one another in the two weeks they'd known each other. She wasn't sure if this was maybe too much, too soon. They'd only just slept together, and it's not like they'd been on any official dates or anything.
The telltale smirk that came upon his face allayed her fears. She didn't know why she'd been worried. "Only if you make sure to drag your boyfriend along to all these parties he probably wants to stay home from."
Her eyes brightened with happiness. "Deal."
Ross didn't say anything more, but instead pulled her towards him for another kiss, this one deeper than before. This conversation obviously meant as much to him as it did to her, and it solidified to one another that even though school was virtually over, that Ross was willing to take a chance on something with Ariana, and she was willing to take a chance on him. There wasn't a whole lot of time left in the year, but they still had the rest of the year, and the whole summer to figure things out. Their timing might have been outwardly poor, but both of them wanted this.
Both of them needed it.
Ariana felt a sense of genuine happiness, of pure understanding of herself, for the first time in a long while. This was who she was, who she wanted to be. She, like anyone else, wanted to be loved, and this guy who lay in bed beside her radiated that feeling more than anyone else she'd ever met before. There had been a time that Ariana had believed (much as Ross had, unbeknownst to her) that in order to properly love someone else, one had to love themselves first.
But she'd had it backwards.
If you felt love towards someone else, and they displayed it back to you, that enhanced your sense of love for yourself. They both felt it. For both teenagers, they felt a sense of love towards themselves that they had rarely felt, and the feeling was intoxicating. Ariana surrendered herself over to the feeling that swept through her body, and let her instincts take over.
The ceiling tiles continued to dance, shadows spreading all across the top of the room as the sun continued to rise on what was primed to be an absolutely beautiful April day. The beginnings of a new romance were framed by the warm glow of the Tennessee sky, bringing an orange warmth to the brand new love that had just blossomed within the house on Fountain Avenue.
((Ross Miller is continued in All the Power in the Universe Conspires to Carry You, and Ariana Moretti is heading to Disc Rot))
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- Joined: 11:08 PM - Oct 08, 2006
- [+] Spoiler
Connor Lorenzen: When you're this good, image is everything.
Pregame: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Morgan Dragosavich: Ahh, I'll figure shit out later. Let's go!
Pregame: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Ross Miller: Just hangin' out, man.
Pregame: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
Memories: 1 - 2
Claudeson Bademosi: It's a beautiful day, I think.
Pregame: 1 - 2
Ariana Moretti: The verbal assassin.
Pregame: 1 - 2
- [+] Spoiler
- [+] Spoiler
B007 - Keith Jackson: At the end of the road he's running, looking back to survey where he's been.
B077 - Adam Dodd: You either die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain. The truth lies somewhere in between.
B087 - Sidney Crosby: It's only cowardice if other people are around to tell you so. Otherwise, it's survival.
B092 - Eddie Serjeantson: Fully in charge, but not much of an arborist.
B013 - Andrew Ponikarovsky: Probably could have used a proper license and a driving lesson.
G005 - Amanda Jones: A breath of fresh air, and in the end, that was all it took.
- [+] Spoiler
B033 - Cole Hudson: Sprung a leak.
B011 - Adam Amato: Refused to besmirch those walls.
B099 - John Sheppard: Went out with a bang.
B122 - Ryan Atwell: Couldn't help but write a "Dear John" letter.
G034 - Jamie Li: Left us far before her time.
B011/99 - Burton Harris/Ken Lawson: The Kermit-squad.
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