Chapter Thirty: Fair Weather Boyfriend
The euphoria of getting into a university kept Natalia going through another round of assignments her teachers had given her. At least this time they were spaced out.
April was finally coming to an end, and Natalia couldn't be happier. She now knew where she would be going in the fall, that had lifted a huge weight of her shoulders.
Her parents had been thrilled that she had been accepted. Not only had Natalia gotten accepted by York, she had qualified for an enterance scholarship. All that was left was finding a place to live.
Natalia didn't want to live on campus. Even her parents were dead set against it. Her mother had talked to her aunt about the possibility of her living with her aunts family, since both Matthew and Natalia would be going to the same school. It was then that she had found out Matthew was going to be living on campus. Natalia had a feeling why. Probably so he won't get a car, she had silently snickered.
Since the beggining of school was a long way off, Natalia wasn't as worried about living accomodations. She was looking forward to seeing the campus. The tour was on the first weekend of May. She really couldn't wait.
Natalia put the thoughts to the back of her mind as she stepped into the cafe behind Dallas. He had wanted to take her out for a celebration, but Natalia wouldn't hear of it.
“I'm not a partier, Dallas.” She had told him, remembering the last party she had gone to. “Okay, then what are you?” He had asked her, sounding a little annoyed. “A bookworm.” Was Natalia's reply. Dallas had sighed. “Alright, I know a place.” He told her.
They had driven to a small cafe after school. Natalia looked around. It was a small but homely place. “This isn't a bookstore or a library?” Natalia asked in confusion.
Dallas grinned. “I said I know a place...I never said I was going to take you there.” Natalia looked at him, incredulously. “Then why would you ask me?” She asked him. “For fun?” Dallas replied.
“You're kidding, right?” Natalia asked. “That's for me to know and you to find out.” Dallas told her with a smirk. Natalia rolled her eyes.
“Okay, fine. Then I'm going to go sit in the car. You can eat and come back.” She told him, dead set about her plan of action. If he wasn't going to tell her willingly, then she was going to force his hand.
Natalia headed for the door. Dallas was too fast for her. He had taken hold of her hand. “Where do you think you're going?” He asked her.
“To the car.” Natalia told him, simply. “You'll need...” Dallas stopped in mid-sentence. “The keys.” It was Natalia's turn to smirk, and she did wickedly, as she dangled them in front of him. Dallas tried to grab them, but she pulled them away from his reach.
“How did you...” Dallas started. “How did I what? Take the keys out of your jacket pocket? Very easily, let me tell you.” She told him sweetly. “So now your going to tell me why you drag me to a cafe after finding out I'm a bookworm.” She told him.
“I want to make it a surprise...but since your a fun wrecker...” Dallas started to guilt her. It worked. Natalia was feeling bad about trying to make him reveal his surprise.
“Okay, fine. I'll sit and be nice. So stop with the guilt trip.” She told him, giving in. Natalia went and sat at one of the tables, without another word.
Dallas was at the counter ordering something, while Natalia stared out the window.
The weather had been pleasent. Spring had fully arrived. She was wearing a thin jacket over a black long sleeved frock and black pants.
Natalia watched Dallas come back with a tray. “What's all this for?” She asked him.
“To celebrate the fact that I was right and that your going to York!” He told her cheerfully. “It's more about you being right, isn't it?” Natalia surmised.
“How did you know?” Dallas said, with a chuckle.
“Lucky guess.” Natalia muttered.
“So what is all of this?” She asked.
Dallas had placed a large clear plastic cup infront of her. It was a little frosted. Inside was a brown liquid that had been mixed with ice. On top there was a huge dollop of whipping cream with shredded chocolate over it. Dallas handed Natalia a straw. He had gotten himself the same thing.
What was left on the tray was some very delicious looking desserts.
“Well I know you love hot chocolate. So I bought us frozen hot chocolate.” Dallas told her. Natalia smiled. He was doing this for her. Except she wasn't one to make things easy.
“How can it be hot chocolate if its frozen or frozen if its hot? Shouldn't it be just frozen chocolate?” She teased him. Dallas shook his head. “Just drink it.” He told her. She heard him chuckle softly.
She took her straw out of it's wrapping. She sipped on the drink. It was delicious.
Dallas was awaiting her response.
“I love you.” She said to the cup. “Hey! What about me?” Dallas asked in a mock hurt tone. “I love you too...but this can't drag me to a cafe after making me believe I was going to a book store.” She told him with a grin.
“Fine, I see how it is.” Dallas told her, he made sure to look offended.
Natalia couldn't help but laugh.
“Come on Dallas, I'm just joking.” She told him. “No, no, I see how it is.” He turned away from her.
“Fine be that way.” She muttered sipping on her drink. “I will.” He replied.
“What a baby...” Natalia muttered. “What was that?” Dallas asked. “I said that I was sorry.” She said quickly.
“You're apologizing to me? You must really love me...” Dallas was grinning. “You can be such a...” She stopped herself. He would probably try to irritate her more by making a big deal out of it...again.
“A what?” Dallas asked, he was smiling evilly. “Nothing. Never mind.” She told him.
“Okay, so what's the rest of this stuff?” She asked changing the subject.
“Fudge with marshmallow and nuts and stuff in it and blondies with nuts and chunks of chocolate.” He told her.
“It looks really good.” She told him. “I know. That's why I brought you here.” Dallas told her, Natalia sighed.
“Alright, thank you for bringing me here.” Natalia said, finally. “Your welcome. I know your drink couldn't do that.” Dallas managed to retort.
“Ha ha ha...funny.” Natalia said, she had to bite her lip to not smile. Eventually she lost. “I know I'm funny.” Dallas told her, when he saw her smile and laugh. Dallas pulled her chair to face him. He leaned in to kiss her. “That's why you love me more than the drink.” He told her, leaning in to kiss her again.
“So now you're going to tell me how you came to be such a good pic-pocketer.” He said to her. Natalia smiled. This was going to be interesting.
Dallas was enjoying himself. He had managed to drag Natalia to the cafe, now he was going to take her to a bookstore.
So far it had been pleseant. He had been surprised about how she had learned to pic-pocket, Derek had no idea what his sister had learned from him. Dallas smiled at the thought.
He parked the car infront of the building, where he intended to take Natalia. He had loved teasing Natalia.
She was still sipping on her drink. She hadn't been able to finish it. He hadn't been able to resist bugging her about that and about how she hadn't been able to finish the desserts.
Dallas saw as Natalia took in her surroundings. Here comes the question, he thought.
As if on cue, Natalia asked the obvious. “Where are we?” She asked turning to face him.
“Come, I'll show you.” He told her stepping out of the car. He waited for Natalia. She left her drink in the car.
Dallas took hold of her hand. “You're freezing.” Dallas told her. “I was holding the drink.” Natalia said to him. “It's like you absorb the cold.” He said, stopping.
Natalia looked puzzled. Dallas took both her hands and rubbed them with his own. “That's better.” He told her. She felt warmer now.
Dallas led Natalia into a dark brownstone building. He heard her gasp. Dallas turned to face her. “Those are a lot of books.” She told him in awe.
Dallas couldn't help but laugh at that.
“Let's go and find you something other than a text book.” He told her with a grin. Natalia laughed at this.
They went into aisle afer aisle of books. Natalia seemed thrilled.
Dallas stood the end of one aisle going through an astronomy book, when he heard a girls voice.
“I never would have expected to find you here.”
Dallas turned on the spot. He couldn't belive who he was facing.
“Uh...Hi Mollie...” Dallas mumbled. He wasn't exactly happy to see her, remembering what their last encounter had resulted in.
Where's Natalia? Dallas thought, hoping she would hurry up and come to him.
“So how are you? How come you haven't returned any of my calls?” Mollie asked him.
“I'm fine. I've been busy.” He told her.
“Really?” She asked, coming closer.
Dallas moved back. He didn't like idea of being cornered by Mollie.
“So what are you doing in a bookstore, Dallas? I mean this isn't a place where I'd think you would come. At least not willingly.” Mollie remarked.
“I'm here with my girlfriend.” Dallas told her, putting emphasis on the last part.
“Girlfriend? Really Dallas? Are you trying to be funny?” Mollie laughed.
“I'm serious. She's looking at a few books.” Dallas told Mollie, making a mental note not to come to this particular store again. He would have to look for another good store for Natalia.
“Dallas Owen doesn't do girlfriends.” Mollie told him, stepping closer.
Dallas moved further back. “Look, Mollie I'm not interested. I'm sure you'll find someone...but I love my girlfriend.” He told her.
“Love? You don't know anything about love, Dallas. In our senior year, you had a new girl every couple of weeks. I think you broke the record of having the most girlfriends in one school year. Are you going to tell me you loved each of them?” Mollie scoffed at him in disbelief.
Dallas contemplated this. He hadn't dated that many girls...had he?
“Look that was then, this is now. I'm not that guy anymore. I have a girlfriend and I love her. So you need to stop calling me because I don't feel anything for you.” He told her, trying to get his point across.
“Has she got you on a leash?” Mollie asked suddenly. The question threw Dallas off.
“No! It's me...I don't feel anything for you.” He told her vehemently.
“Right...so you're expecting me to believe that Dallas Owen has become a good guy. One who actually loves his girlfriend.” Mollie asked, incredulously.
Natalia had found a book that looked interesting. It was titled 'Along For The Ride' by Sarah Dessen. The title had caught her attention. It was when she read the back that she realized she had read another book by the author, 'This Lullaby'.
She headed back to where Dallas had been looking through astronomy books.
Natalia stopped when she heard voices. It sounded like Dallas was arguing with some one.
She recognized the second voice immidiately. Mollie...Natalia thought darkly.
“I'm not kidding, Mollie. I have a girlfriend, who I love.” Dallas sounded irritated.
“You keep saying that, but I have yet to see your 'girlfriend' who you keep telling me you love. You keep saying she's here...so go on...where is she?” Mollie asked Dallas.
Natalia took that as her cue. She stepped out of the aisles.
“That would be me.” She said. Dallas spun to face her. He looked thoroughly relieved to see her.
“Aren't you Derek's girl-” Mollie was interuppted by a rather annoyed Natalia. “For the last time, I'm Derek's sister! Not his girlfriend!” She said through gritted teeth to a baffled Mollie.
“I told you she was here.” Dallas said to Mollie. He had moved to stand beside Natalia. Mollie still didn't look convinced.
Dallas had an arm around Natalia's waist.
“So you love her?” Mollie asked in annoyance.
“Yea, he does.” Natalia replied for Dallas.
“Dallas, you are unbelievable.” Mollie, shook her head in disbelief.
“I don't need you to belive me. I need her to.” Dallas told her.
“Did you find something you liked?” Dallas asked Natalia, turning to face her. He looked at her as though she was the only one there, like he could only see her.
Natalia held up her book. Dallas smiled. “I'm glad it's not a biology book.” He commented.
Natalia let a smile creep onto her face. “It was tempting.”
“Let's go then.” He told her, pulling her towards the check out.
“Bye, Mollie.” Dallas said as they passed Mollie.
Natalia didn't say anything, she only glared at the other girl.
“See you around, Dallas.” It unsettled Natalia, when she heard the other girl say that quietly.
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