As the night ends, Norah and Matthew have a hard time walking away.
| There was no denying there were heavy sparks of chemistry flying off of Norah and Matthew as they sat outside talking, completely losing track of time. At one point Matthew noticed Norah shivering from the slight chill that had settled into the air and proceeded to take off his sports coat, draping it over her shoulders.
"Oh thank you. I hadn't realized I was gonna need a jacket this evening." Norah said softly as she pulled the jacket closer around her shoulders, his subtle cologne filling her nose. She studied his face for some inclination to his ulterior motives, but simply got lost in his deep blue ocean eyes and had to restrain herself from running her hands through his thick jet black hair by picking at her chipped nail polish.
Matthew flashed her another bright smile and tipped his imaginary hat towards her. "I'd never let you stay cold. It did get pretty cool out here, I guess there is some kind of front coming this direction." He watched her as she nervously fidgeted with her nails and he reached over and gently grasped one of her hands. "You don't have to be nervous Norah. We're just two adults enjoying each other's company. It doesn't have to be any more than that."
As she was opening her mouth to speak, Autumn busted out of the back door, stumbling a bit. "Oh my god I've been looking for you everywhere Norah!" She exclaimed as she rushed over and stood in front of them. "I've been out here talking.." Norah responded in a friendly tone that had a touch of irritation underlying in her voice.
"Well, you two missed quite a party in there! A few of us are gonna head off to Shelly's after party. Did you wanna come with?" Autumn asked as she pulled out a cigarette from her clutch purse.
"Don't you worry about that Autumn, we've been watching the festivities from a safe distance." Matthew chuckled out as he picked up the two glasses belonging to Norah and himself, and stood up. "I'm going to get one last drink. Did you want one Norah?" He asked as Autumn claimed his seat. "I'd love one, thank you." Norah responded before flashing her usual friendly smile up at him.
As he walked into the house, Autumn almost burst out of the seat. "Have you been out here with him the whole time??" She asked in an extremely cheerful tone. When Norah nodded her head, Autumn let out a squeal then did a happy jig without getting up. "That's amazing! Matt is a super sweet guy, he's about to start a teaching assistant position this semester and this is his last hurrah I guess. Plus he's like hella fine. Are you gonna come with us to the after party?" She asked as Matt reemerged from the house with two cups.
"No, I think I might have this last drink and head back to the dorm room. I have a lot of stuff to do that I should have done today." Norah responded jokingly, nudging her friend's arm softly. Matt walked up as Autumn was finishing her cigarette and handed Norah her cup.
Autumn shot Norah a sly grin as she stood up and let Matt have his spot back. "Alright you kids, be safe and don't do anything I wouldn't. Matt take care of my girl and make sure she gets back to the dorm safe." She instructed as she gave Norah a brief hug before walking inside to meet up with her group.
"She seems to be quite protective of you. Were you two friends before college?" He asked before offering her a cigarette. As Norah accepted it, she tried fishing out her lighter that she kept for moments like this. He quickly struck a match, lighting her cigarette as well as his own.
"Actually, we met at the beginning of the month when we got our room assignments. She is everything that I'm not and I think we fit pretty perfectly as dorm mates." She responded as she took a drag of her cigarette.
"What do you mean 'everything your not'?" Matt asked with a peaked curiosity. Autumn was the conventional beauty that most think of when you mention a pageant, but Norah was beautiful in a way that was more than just skin deep. At least she was to Matthew.
Norah lowered her eyes as she spoke softly. "Well.. Autumn is the gorgeously tall, blonde haired blue eyed girl every guy wants. I'm the plain book nerd that would rather stay in and read a good book. Everything she is, I'm not."
Matthew took a drag of his cigarette and carefully thought about his next choice of words. "Norah, don't look at yourself that way. Not every guy wants the 'dauphine' of the group, some would prefer the 'Velma'." He kicked himself mentally as soon as the analogy left his lips, but when he heard her chuckling he didn't feel so bad.
"I guess that makes sense when you put it that way." Norah stated as she put out her cigarette in the ash tray. Her phone buzzed as she received a text message.
Password: The stars above shall line up tonight
She stood up and flashed him a mischievous grin, receiving a curious grin and a furrowed brow from him . "What just went through your head?" He asked as he stood up. Even in her 5 inch pumps she was still a full foot shorter than him. "Do you enjoy jazz music?"
They arrived at a little hole in the wall jazz bar that she discovered one day during her tour of the city, but had been one of Matthew's favorite hideaways for a few years. It was operated by an old school password only entrance and after a little research, she found a few regulars that escorted her in and got her on the list to receive the weekly password. She knocked a simple but rehearsed knock and a small sliding window swiftly opened. Matthew had received the password earlier, but decided to not give away his little secret.
"Password." a booming voice demanded from inside
"The stars above shall line up tonight." She responded in a confidence voice. As the door opened, she grabbed Matthew's hand and led him inside. The familiar smooth sounds of jazz floated through the air and filled his ears, he was never expecting Norah to have led him to one of his favorite spots.
Just as she was about to sit down, he grasped her hand a little tighter and pulled her towards the other couples dancing. Her eyes were wide as saucers, letting Matthew know that she hadn't danced here before. As they reached the dance floor, he took her in his arms while smiling down at her.
"Can you dance?" He asked before they started and she shot him a playful grin.
"I can, can you?" She retorted.
She let out a small squeal as he started to lead her around, dancing with the flow of the fast paced song. Matthew was very impressed with her as she kept up with every one of his steps. He adored the smile on her face, the laughter that escaped her lips. As the song reduced to a more intimate song, he slid his hands down to her hips and pulled her tighter against him. A small circle had formed around them as they danced with a perfect rhythm that looked choreographed. Norah could feel the warmth of Matthew's hand on her lower back as they swung loosely around the dance floor, her heartbeat keeping time with the beat of the slow song despite the quick pace before. They're eyes remained locked throughout the whole dance, even when every eye was on them.
As the song came to a close, Matthew dipped her backwards and Norah gripped on to his arms tightly. He stood her back up as the crowd erupted in cheer when the song ended. Her cheeks flushed deep red as she realized they were the center of attention and quickly rushed off the floor to their table, Matthew trailing after her.
"You weren't kidding about your dancing. You are remarkably talented." He spoke gently before ordering two waters from the cocktail waitress that had walked up. Norah smiled over at him, her breath ragged and short.
"You're not so bad yourself. I haven't danced like that since I was taking lessons in high school." She took a few big gulps of her water before looking down at her watch and noticing the time. "Oh my, is it really almost 3?" She gasped as she realized she had to be in class at 9:30.
"Here, I know a short cut back to the dorms from here." He responded as she grabbed her clutch and they walked out.
Matthew slipped his jacket over her shoulders again as they walked down the hushed sidewalk towards the campus. The only noises were the small taps of Norah's shoes, the crunch of leaves under their shoes, the occasional car that drove by, and their voices.
"If your feet hurt, I can carry you if you'd like." He suggested to her when he noticed she was wincing with each step. She stopped and honestly debated it.
"You wouldn't mind?"
"Of course not. Take off your shoes and I'll pick you up."
She slipped off the heels and gasped softly as he swooped her up into his arms, bridal style. She felt so tiny in his arms and against his chest. He felt her slowly relax in his arms as he walked. "You're so little Norah." He chuckled softly, resisting the urge to kiss her.
He set her down in front of her dorm building and offered her another cigarette. When she accepted, he struck another match and lit it for her. They both seemed reluctant to walk away from each other.
"Will I get to see you again?" He asked, finally breaking the silence.
"I'm not sure. I would like to see you again, but if you're about to start a TA position, it may not be appropriate." Norah responded softly, unable to bring her eyes up to meet his gaze. She instead took another drag of her cigarette.
"Norah, I don't know if I can forget you. I know I can't." He tucked his fingers under her chin and lifted her head. Her steel gray eyes were clouded with emotion.
"You don't have to. We'll both have tonight, right?" She gave him a weak smile before finishing her cigarette and putting it out.
Matthew flicked his cigarette away and pulled her closer to him. "If I only have tonight with you, I'll make it count."
Her eyes went wide when his lips crashed on to hers, but her eyes closed as she wrapped her arms around his neck, knotting her fingers in his hair. He pinned her to the brick wall behind her and deepened the kiss. She felt her cheeks burning as her face flushed deeply; her heart fluttered wildly as she enjoyed the way his lips felt on her own. He finally broke the kiss and took a small step backward. "I have been wanting to do that since the moment I laid my eyes on you Norah. I hope to see you again."
He grasped her hand gently and planted a kiss on the back of it. She shot him a friendly smile as she reached up and ran her fingers through his soft dark locks. "I'm sure this isn't the last time. Especially after that kiss." She stretched up and gave him a small peck on his lips before going inside and up to her dorm, where she promptly fell on her bed and fell asleep.