Dallas had gotten off practice early. They would be playing a game on Tuesday, so the coach had decided to give them an early start to their weekend. By six o'clock he had parked his car in the university parking lot.
Getting out of his car, he grabbed his bag, and locked the doors. Pulling out his cell phone Dallas dialed Natalia's number. He had dropped her off in the morning, he didn't know where she would be right now. She didn't pick up the phone.
Weird...Dallas thought as he tried again. She wasn't one to ignore calls. Sometimes she would forget her phone in her bag when she would be looking for books...but usually she would pick up. Dallas tried again three more times. Still there was no answer.
Instead he called Matthew. Matthew picked up on the first try. “Hey Dallas, what can I do for you?” Matthew answered his phone. “Hello Matt. I was just wondering if you-” Dallas was interrupted by the younger boy. “Where Lia is?” Matt finished for him. Dallas smiled, as he walked towards the main buildings.
“Yea...she's not answering her phone.” Dallas told him. “She's either in class or in Steacie. You might want to check Steacie first though, I think all her classes for today were in the morning.” Matthew informed Dallas. “Thanks.” Dallas said, he should have known Natalia would be in the library. “No problem. See you around.” Matthew said, as they ended their conversation.
Dallas shoved his phone into the pocket of his jeans. He changed his direction and headed for Steacie. It didn't take long for him to reach the building. Once he was inside, Dallas roamed the cubicles and went in to the basement. Still there was no sign of Natalia. Walking back up, Dallas saw the couches. She could be here, Dallas realized.
He walked along the row of couches that had been set up against the wall. Most were empty. It was there he found Natalia. She had put together two blue couches and was sleeping. Her bag at her feet, a jacket covering her form. Her head rested against one of the arm rests. One hand underneath her head, her other arm across her eyes. Dallas chuckled upon seeing her.
The guy on the couch next to Natalia's glared at him. He looked to be concentrating on a thick Physics book.
“Sorry...that's my girlfriend.” Dallas explained.
The guy didn't look like he believed him. He shot Dallas another dirty look before turning back to his book.
Okay there...Dallas thought.
Dallas put his bag on the floor beside Natalia's couch. Kneeling beside her, he prodded her.
“Lia, wake up.” He said, in a gentle voice. “Natalia...” Dallas murmured.
He watched as Natalia sleepily raised the arm covering her eyes.
“Hey Dallas, what are you doing here?” She asked sleepily, rubbing her eyes. “I have class from seven to ten.” He reminded her. At that Natalia bolted upright. “It's ten already?” She asked, completely shocked. Natalia ran a nervous hand through her hair. Dallas laughed, she must have been out of it. He watched as she scrambled through her bag looking for her phone.
“No, its around six., and you missed five calls...all from me.” He told her, with a grin. At once she relaxed. She glanced at the time. “It's six fifteen.” She corrected him. “Sorry, I didn't hear the phone go off...and you could have told me what time it was...I thought I had...” She started to tell him. “Forgotten to study?” Dallas told her with a grin. Natalia rolled her eyes.
“No...yes...I thought I would study a while but then I got sleepy...so I took a nap.” She told him, looking guilty. “It's okay.” Dallas assured her. “There's nothing wrong with taking nap.” He chuckled. “Right...” He heard her mutter.
“Move over.” Dallas requested. Natalia put her bag on the ground, and moved to one side. Dallas managed to sit on the couch, and pulled her closer to him. Putting his feet up on the other couch, his hand under Natalia, they were comfortable.
Natalia failed to stifle a yawn. “Still sleepy, sleepyhead?” Dallas teased her. “Yup.” she answered, burrowing her head into the crook of his shoulder.
“I'll wake you up before I leave.” He told her, pulling her jacket over her so she wouldn't feel cold. “Okay...” She said simply. She moved over to give him a kiss.
As Natalia fell asleep once more, Dallas pulled his bag closer and got out his notes. He was going to review his notes before class.
He brought out the course pack and turned the pages to what they would be covering in the lecture, and settled down to read. His hand absently rubbed Natalia's arm.
As the time drew near for Dallas to leave for class, he gently woke Natalia up again.
“Do you want me to meet you here after class?” Dallas asked, as he got off the couch and put his book back in to his bag.
“No, I'll just come with you...it's not like I have anything better to do...I'll probably sleep while your gone.” Natalia said sounding sheepish. Dallas couldn't help but laugh. She double checked her things, before standing up and pulling her bag over her shoulders.
Dallas took hold of her hand, and led the way.
He noticed the guy who had glared at him sitting a few couches away now. He was still studying, and meticulously writing notes. As they walked past him, Dallas couldn't help but lean over.
“I told you so.” Dallas said, in passing. The guy looked at him, comprehending what Dallas meant by that. Dallas grinned at him before they walked out of sight.
“What was that all about?” Natalia asked, Dallas saw a puzzled look on her face.
“Nothing...” He told her, sounding sheepish. “Uh huh...” Natalia said, not believing him for a second. “Well he didn't believe me when I came looking for you...” Dallas said.
“Didn't believe what, exactly?” Natalia asked, he had almost forgotten her insatiable curiosity.
“That you were my girlfriend.” Dallas told her, turning to grin at her, before turning back to see where they were going. They walked down the path passing the Petrie building. Dallas's lecture was in the Chemistry building.
Natalia laughed. “Aww...so you had to show him didn't you?” She said with a smirk.
“Damn right I did. You're mine...remember.” Dallas said, he watched as Natalia laughed upon hearing this. “Yea, and you're mine...don't you forget.” She told him, pulling him closer to her.
Dallas smiled upon hearing this. “I won't.” He said, leaning over to kiss her.
They headed into the building, hand in hand.
The weekend had finally come. Natalia couldn't help but fidget nervously, as she sat in the car. Dallas was driving them to her parents' house, to pick up her stuff.
Dallas pulled her hands away from each other, when they stopped at a red light.
“It's going to be fine, Lia.” He told her, once more. Natalia nodded. “I know...I know...I'm just nervous...” Natalia told him again.
Natalia couldn't help but feel nervous. It wasn't that her parents didn't know who she was coming with...or the fact that she and Dallas were together. She had never been the one to bring any one home to meet her parents, it had always been Derek who, over the years, brought over his girlfriend once in a while. To make it slightly more awkward...she was bringing home Dallas...
Natalia's leg was jittering now. She stared out the window. How long had she known Dallas? The answer was simple. Pretty much all her life. They had grown up together, since he and Derek were almost inseparable as kids. Their parents had been best friends since before they were born.
She had never been able to get over her crush on him. It still amazed her how things had worked out between them. At the beginning of the year, she would have laughed at the prospect of going out with Dallas, even though he had given her her first kiss. It had all changed from that point on...accelerating even more when he had stayed with her after Raine had broken up with her. Of course a few months ago it had seemed so out of the ordinary for her to be going out with Dallas. When they had broken up, she didn't think she would ever be able to have him in her life again. Yet here they both were, and now it just felt right. Everything had finally fallen in to place.
“We're here!” Dallas chimed, as he parked in the driveway. Natalia couldn't help but look less enthusiastic about the impending meeting with her parents.
“Let's go...” She muttered, unbuckling her belt. Taking a deep breath to steady herself, Natalia took Dallas's hand before entering her house.
“Hello?” She called out, as Dallas closed the door behind them.
“Lia! You're home!” She heard her mother say, as her parents came in to view at the top of the stairs. “Derek! Lia and Dallas are home!” Her mother called for her brother.
Her mother and father gave her hugs once they had come down the stairs.
“Hello Dallas!” Her mother greeted Dallas with a hug. “I didn't think I'd be seeing you anytime soon.” Her mother said as her father chuckled.
“I didn't think I'd be seeing the both of you together.” Her father admitted. Natalia blushed, as her father shook Dallas's hand. Her mother laughed as she noticed how deep a red Natalia had turned.
“Aww honey, don't worry. We've always loved Dallas.” Her mother reassured her.
“It's just now he'll have to worry about your father.” Her mother joked.
Her father laughed. “Dallas, all you have to do is keep her happy, and I'll be happy. So if you can do that you have nothing to fear about me.” Her father said, putting a hand on Dallas's shoulder.
Dallas smiled. “I plan to keep her happy.” He told both her parents.
“That's all we wanted to hear. Although you might have to watch out for him.” Natalia's mother said, as Derek finally appeared from the basement. He grinned when he saw all of them gathered in the hall.
“Hey squirt!” Derek pulled Natalia in to a tight hug. “How's York treating you?” He said, as he let his sister go. “It's been amazing. I have the coolest Chemistry professor, and Matt is in my class.” Natalia said, she finally felt at ease.
“Good to know.” Her brother said, as he moved towards Dallas.
“Hey Dallas!” Natalia watched as her brother gave Dallas a brotherly hug. “Hey Derek!” She heard Dallas reply.
Natalia and her parents walked in to the living room as Derek and Dallas exchanged words.
“So honey, how is everything?” Her mother asked, as they sat down on the couches. Natalia heard Dallas laugh at something Derek had said, as the two boys walked to join them.
“Everything is fine. School is great. York is just the type of place I like.” She told her parents, with a smile. In truth, York was exactly the right place for her. She loved the school life, and the professors had kept her classes interesting, but most of all she loved Steacie.
“Dallas, how is it being on TFC?” Her father asked Dallas. “It's been great. I get to start the game on Tuesday, so I'm really looking forward to that. The players are friendly and the coaches are making sure every one integrates properly. It's been exciting but I'm just glad that I got the chance to play.” Dallas told her father.
They talked a while longer, until her parents excused themselves to go out.
“We'll be home in a while. You both are staying for dinner.” Her mother called out, as she exited the house.
Natalia got up from the couch. “I'm going to grab some of my things.” She told the two guys.
“Okay.” She heard Dallas say as Derek nodded.
Natalia walked up to her room. She couldn't believe how happy she felt being home. She had to admit, there were days when she longed to be in her room. As she entered her room, it looked as though she had never left. Everything was in it's place.
She flounced on to her bed, joyfully. A deep sigh escaped her. “I missed you.” She said aloud, hugging her pillows. Natalia soon got up off her bed and walked to her closet. She needed to bring some clothes, and books. Dallas knew it would take a few trips to bring everything to their place.
Funny...Natalia thought. It had been so easy to refer to the apartment as theirs. Dallas had been the one always saying 'Our place' or 'Our home'. Natalia could still picture the thrilled look on Dallas's face when Natalia had called it their home.
Natalia didn't want to bring everything with her...she still wanted to keep her room. It was where she had grown up. Sometimes she would feel a pang of homesickness for not returning here after a day of learning at York.
Beginning to take out some of her clothes and placing them onto her bed, piling them neatly. She looked in her closet for t-shirts, socks, and pants; folding them and putting them beside the other garments.
After she had gotten the clothes she wanted out, Natalia turned her attention to the other things in her room. She took out some books from her bookshelf and placed them on the ground.
Going back into her closet, she looked for anything else that she would want to take back with her.
She found some of her stuffed animals. It was hard to choose, but Natalia selected a few.
She had just gone back into her closet when she heard a knock at the door.
“What are you up to?” Dallas asked, as Natalia came in to view. “Just getting some of my things.” She told him, motioning to the small pile of her belongings.
“That's it?” He asked, looking at her in amusement. “Well...I don't want to take too much...I don't want to give up the room...” She admitted.
Dallas chuckled upon hearing this. He sat down on a corner of her bed.
“I know what you mean.” He told her.
Natalia went back in to her closet and shuffled around, looking for anything else she would want to bring.
“So where's Derek?” She asked. “I think he's gone to get dinner. We're having pizza.” She heard Dallas say.
Natalia found an envelope and the bear Dallas had gotten her. They would definitely be coming with her.
It had been a while since she had seen either. As she came out of the closet, Dallas gave her a questioning look.
“What's in the envelope?” He asked.
Natalia opened it and shook the contents out of her hand as Dallas came to stand beside her.
It was the necklace he had gotten for her, and the note he had left before moving out.
Neither of them said anything, as they looked over the things in Natalia's hand.
Dallas took the necklace and ran a finger along the key.
Natalia didn't know what to say. “I'm sorry about-” Dallas silenced Natalia with a kiss.
“Lia...we wouldn't be here if we both weren't sorry.” He told her. He was right. They had already talked about it. When Natalia had apologized, he had told her they both had been at fault.
“Besides, you'll always own the key to my heart.” He grinned. Natalia watched as he undid the chain and placed it around her neck.
“I told you, it suits you.” He told her, as he did the clasp. Natalia smiled.
“So, what else are we bringing home?” Dallas asked, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her closer to him.
Natalia leaned her head against his shoulder, her arms made their way around his neck.
“Can I bring all my books?” She asked. Dallas shook with laughter upon hearing this. Natalia grinned as she faced him.
“You can bring anything you like.” He told her.
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