“Fuck,” I muttered as I pulled uselessly at the convenience store door. Of course it would be closed. After everything that had happened today, I really should have seen this coming. Or perhaps even without my own personal grievances, I should have predicted that maybe in the middle of a snowstorm in a city that rarely got more than a dusting of snow, a few businesses would be shut down. Though even if I had predicted that, the fact remained that I’d run out of food in my apartment thanks to missing my trip to the grocery store the previous day thanks to work piling up on me and my boss deciding that perhaps it was time for a performance review and oh gee, she really does hope all this paperwork is done by then and gah! Why today? Or yesterday and today, or… dammit, why!?

Fuck her. And fuck whoever owned this store who wasn’t willing to sell some emergency supplies to people willing to brave this storm. And fuck that stupid woman reflected in the store’s door. It’s all your fault, you know. And don’t glare at me like that! Okay, I have to admit, you’re damn hot when you do, but you’ve somehow managed to get sweaty in the middle of a snowstorm, and the bangs sticking to your forehead are… well, okay, it’s not the worst look in the world. There’s gotta be a fetish site for it somewhere on the Internet. “Sweaty short-haired brunettes in snow jackets…” It could exist. I’ve seen weirder things out there.

With a grunt, I brushed some of the hair off of my forehead and turned back toward my apartment building. At least, that was the plan. What actually happened was that I moved one leg, and then the other slid out from under me. My reflexes may have been great when it came to kickboxing, but that didn’t do me much good on the ice (though I really did feel like kicking it, if I could find a way to do so without falling again). Thankfully most of my body landed in the snow, and only my knee actually hit the ice, so there wasn’t much damage to speak of. And no one else would be stupid enough to be out here in this weather, so at least my pride wouldn’t have to take a-

“You alright there?”

Of course. And there went my pride. “Oof, fine. I’m fine…” I said as I tried to push myself up. My foot nearly slid out from under me as I did so, but a hand grabbed onto my upper arm and prevented me from hitting the ground again. With a bit of help, I was able to get myself standing again, and I brushed the snow off of my face to see who I was dealing with.

Well, hello, big boy… I nearly had to shake my head to keep my mind from leaping straight into the gutter. I always had this reaction to tall men, and the added bulk on this one certainly didn’t hurt. Okay granted, with the heavy clothes he was wearing I couldn’t exactly tell how much was muscle or fat, but either way, I could work with it. Though wait… I blinked for a moment as I stared at his coat. That didn’t look particularly heavy. “Aren’t you cold?” I asked.

“Aren’t you hot?” he replied, almost as if he’d been waiting for someone to ask him this question.

I looked up at his face, feeling a slight shiver pass through my body as I focused on his piercing blue eyes. I wasn’t going to let that show, though. He’d given me an opening, and I was going to use it. “Too hot for you, I dare say,” I said, curling up the edge of my lip in a grin. This seemed to catch him momentarily off-guard. Score one for me.

“Maybe,” he replied, after giving it a moment to think over. It seemed he was taking the time to judge my mood, and make sure I wasn’t seriously trying to blow him off. “Though I bet you’d melt before I do.”

“Hmm… A bit slow to get there, but it’s not the worst line I’ve ever heard,” I said. There was a moment of silence as I stared at him. How long had it been since I’d been on a date? Not since I’d moved here, and that was three months ago now. I was beginning to feel the withdrawal… Ugh, but no way was I going to let myself start acting desperate. “Well anyway, what the hell are you doing out here in this weather?” I said.

“Exercise,” he replied. I blinked, not entirely sure if he was serious. It should have been a joke, but for some reason I felt like I could have believed him if he were serious. “It’s good weather for it; keeps me from getting overheated outside,” he continued.

“…Right,” I said. “Tell me the truth: You’re a snowman in disguise, aren’t you?” It was starting to seem like the only explanation, though it may have been more a symptom of the cold reaching my brain.

“Was I that obvious?” He said, cracking a smile. Okay, he was probably joking. Probably. “What about you? You don’t look like you’re here for exercise. Unless solo synchronized falling is the new thing.”

I dropped my brow and crossed my arms. “I’ll have you know I won silver in synchronized falling. Would have been gold, but I didn’t hit my knee on the ice hard enough. It’s a vicious sport, I tell you.”

“So I gather. You do have that vicious look.”

Well şerifali escort okay, I was giving him a bit of a vicious look at that moment, but I wasn’t going to take that lying down. I was going to make him take it lying down. “You know what? I think a demonstration is in order,” I said, suddenly lunging forward and giving the guy a shove. A snow bank was right behind him, so I knew he’d be fine. I, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so lucky. I probably should have taken the mass difference between us into account, as well as the fact that I was standing on a spot that I knew to be slippery. So, I really only had myself to blame when my legs slipped out from under me and I fell flat on my ass.

“Well, I’d give you a gold,” he said, somehow having managed to remain on his feet. “Need a hand?”

I took his outstretched hand in mine and pulled it down as hard as I could. He probably should have seen it coming, and perhaps he did, but at least I couldn’t fall down any farther. I made sure to lean back as he came down, and my coat cushioned the impact as he ended up on top of me. I did still find myself quite pinned down beneath his weight, though.

He was silent for a moment, before letting out a laugh. “You know, you could have just asked if you wanted me on top of you,” he said, meeting my gaze.

“Pfft. Just consider yourself lucky to be in this position. Might be your only shot.” I replied. I was quite conscious right now of how close his face was to mine, and if it weren’t for the thickness of my coat, I was certain he’d be able to feel how powerful my heartbeat had gotten.

After a few more seconds of tense silence, he pushed himself back up and reached a hand down to me again. “Don’t think I haven’t learned my lesson,” he said. “You can pull me down again, sure, but next time I won’t be getting back up.”

“Heh,” I said, taking his hand and pulling myself back up again. I took a moment to brush some of the snow off my back, though I noticed that he didn’t seem to bother. Granted, he hadn’t gotten as much on him, but still… “You really don’t mind the snow, do you, Mr. Snowman?”

“It’s pronounced ‘Snaumann,'” he said. “And it’s not my name. But you’re welcome to keep guessing.”

“Eh, I think I’ll just go with Snow. You can call me Juliet, which isn’t my name either,” I said, going with my standard alias and holding out my hand to him. After finding myself having to deal with a stalker in my home town after giving out too much information, I wasn’t one to take chances with strangers. There was still a chance this guy couldn’t be trusted, and I wasn’t going to give him my name if I couldn’t at least get his. “But now, I need to get some food. Know anyplace that’s open, Snow?”

“Around here? Not likely. Normally I’d recommend you take the bus to the supermarket, but I haven’t seen any buses running today.”

“Psshh…” I said, turning my head off to the side. I looked down the street, hoping that perhaps a store I’d never noticed before might catch my eye. There has to be something… Dammit. Nothing. “Ugh, I guess I’ll just order something. Some place has to be open and willing to deliver.”

Snow appeared to think for a moment, and then he said, “Well, lucky you. Tonight only, I’m running a delivery service. The selection’s shit, but if you can boil water or open a can, you’ll… well, you’ll be able to eat.”

I let out a laugh, and nearly found myself refusing flat out. I wasn’t quite ready to let a random stranger know where I lived. He seemed nice enough, but there was no way to know it wasn’t just an act. But I didn’t exactly envy the thought of waiting out this storm before I could eat again. Decisions, decisions…

I looked up at him. Let’s see how this went. “I’m not the type to give out my home address to men I’ve just met, sorry,” I said. “And I don’t give out my number, either. Give me yours if you want, and maybe I’ll give you a call sometime, though.”

Something flashed in his eyes for a moment – maybe disappointment. Or maybe I was just imagining it. But it passed, and he shrugged. “Alright. Give me a call if the storm doesn’t pass and you can’t find any other food. We can always meet somewhere,” he said. I fumbled in my pocket for a moment to get out my phone, then passed it to him so he could punch in his number.

“Thanks,” I said, taking it back from him. “I’ll leave you to your exercise now,” I said.

“Sure,” he said, smiling at me as he turned off. He didn’t look like he was doing much exercise as he walked a way. Probably a joke then.

I waited for a minute or so, then found his number in my phone – of course, he’d actually labeled himself as “Snow” – and called it. He’d proven he could take “no” for an answer, which was enough to earn him a chance.

“Hello?” he said. I saw him stop in the middle of his step down the street, slowly turning around.

“Told ya I might call you. Grab some silivri escort food, I’ll show you to my place. We’ll make a dinner of it.”

“So how exactly did you manage to run out of food anyway?” Snow asked as he placed a couple plates of pasta on the table and sat down across from me. It wasn’t the fanciest dinner in the world, but I wasn’t exactly in a position to complain.

“Eh, lot of things came together,” I said as I stuck my fork into the pasta and began to mix the sauce in. “Sick last week, and was going to get some groceries yesterday, since I get Thursday afternoons off, but my boss decided to put some pressure on me before my review today. I figured I could just get something quick this evening and then hit the supermarket tomorrow, but no, the snow decided to hit today. So no review at work anyway, and I’m all out of food. Got plenty of beer though, if you want some.”

“Heh, I see. I guess I could go for one,” Snow said.

With a nod, I got up to grab a couple of bottles. I passed one over to him as I returned to the table. As I sat down, I finally allowed myself a moment to relax. I’d been busy changing out of my snow-covered clothes while Snow prepared dinner, and this was my first chance to simply sit down and recover a bit from the bitter cold. Or refreshingly-brisk cold, as I’m sure Snow would describe it.

While Snow was taking a drink of his beer, I took the opportunity to look him over. Broad shoulders – very nice. His face gave off something of a punk vibe, but his hair was clean-cut, which downplayed that a bit. He probably could have been quite threatening if he tried to be, but so far I’d seen none of that. Hopefully he did have some dominance in him though; otherwise things could get quite boring.

I quickly looked down at my food as Snow lowered his beer, not wanting to let on what I’d been doing. I took a few bites of the meal, which turned out to be a bit plain for my taste. Ah well, food was food. “Hmm… I’ll have to find some way to pay you back for this…” I said after a few more bites and a swig of beer.

“Don’t worry about it,” Snow said. “Though if you insist on worrying, let’s at least finish eating first. I consider myself a professional, and the bill comes after the meal as a matter of course.”

“A professional, are you?” I said. “You’re going to have to step up your game a bit, then. This is fine, sure, but I don’t imagine people lining up for it.”

Snow looked over at me for a moment, catching my gaze and holding it for just a moment longer than he needed to. “Who said I was a professional chef?” he said.

“Just a waiter then?” I said, with a tilt of my head. Definitely not a waiter, if I had to guess.

“Not even a waiter, sadly. My dreams of a career in the culinary arts were stillborn. But a pro is a pro, and I’m not going to shame my fine brothers and sisters in the restauranting business by asking for payment without giving you a chance to enjoy the meal first.”

“Hmm…” I said, twirling my fork in my fingers as I looked over at him. I took a quick drink of my beer, then pointed the fork toward him. “So you’re a professional, and you have so much pride in your own work it spills over into pride in other people’s work. I don’t know if my apartment has room for a swollen head.”

“Oh really?” Snow said. He scooped up some of the last of his own pasta, and, just before he put it into his mouth, he said, “With the way you seemed so eager to get me on top of you, I could have sworn you were looking for a swollen head.”

I coughed at this comment and had to fight a blush coming to my cheeks. Thankfully I managed to do so, and I was able to simply glare at him instead. “Tch. Yeah, not the head I was talking about. And how unsubtle do you think I am, that I’d pull guys on top of me whenever I wanted to get laid?”

Snow finished his mouthful and looked at me for a long moment. Damn, his gaze could be fierce… okay, maybe he did have some dominance in him. “Not all the time, I’d suspect,” he said at last. He held my gaze for another few seconds, and his lips slowly split into a smile. I had the odd feeling right then that he was actually looking into my mind. Maybe I really wasn’t being that subtle…

I shook my head to break his gaze, and dove back in to finish my dinner. As soon as it was done, I picked up the plate and headed off to the sink to clean it off. I moved away after a moment to let Snow clean his own plate, and I backed off and crossed my arms as I looked at him.

“So,” he said as he turned back to me. “Shall we discuss your bill?”

I caught his gaze and narrowed my brow, trying to gain back some control of the situation. “I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is ‘no.'”

“Really? And what exactly do you think I’m thinking?” Snow said, crossing his own arms and leaning back slightly. The edge of his mouth curled up as he waited for a reply.

“You’re şirinevler escort thinking – or perhaps hoping – that this’ll play out like some lame chivalrous romance. You save the damsel, she gives herself to you. Well, no, that’s not going to happen,” I said. He probably wasn’t seriously thinking that, but he was a man, so I’m sure it had at least crossed his mind.

“Oh. Of course,” Snow said, with an almost imperceptible shrug. “So, cash or check?”

I blinked a few times as I tried to gauge his lack of a reaction. “…Hold on. You’re not gay, are you? Or ace… asexual, I mean?”

“I know what you mean. And no,” Snow said. “I just agree. It wouldn’t make sense for you to pay by doing something you’d enjoy that much – it would have to be something you didn’t want to do, or at least something you were neutral on.”

“Tch, there’s that swelled head again,” I said. I scowled at him, though I did feel my heartbeat begin to pick up again. “No, I’m just that good. You’d enjoy it so much you’d be feeding me for weeks.”

“A normal man, maybe. Not me,” Snow said. After a moment, his gaze softened a bit and he held up his hands in mock surrender. “Oh, I’m sure I’d enjoy it. Problem is, I’m that good as well, so you’d still come out ahead.”

I snorted in reply. “Oh really?” I said, taking a step toward him. My body was now just mere inches from his, and I looked up into his face. “Mr. Swelled Head thinks he’s God’s gift to women, now does he?”

“Nah. I’m my own gift to women,” Snow said. “And disbelieve me if you want, it’s still true.” He didn’t take any steps toward me, but I was sure he was somehow managing to get closer to me as he said this.

“Oh, is it?”


“I don’t believe you.”

“And it’s still true.”

“Prove it.”

The words slipped out of my mouth without any conscious thought, but by the time my mind caught up to my lips, it was too late. Snow had pushed me back against the wall almost effortlessly, and I found my lips claimed by his in a fierce kiss. I tried to catch up and figure out if I was actually into this, but my body had already made that decision for me. My arms had wrapped around his back, pulling him in tightly to me, and one of my legs had even wrapped around his by the time I realized what I was doing.

While my back was pressed flush against the wall and preventing retreat, Snow pushed his tongue forward and into my mouth. My mind had decided to go along for the moment, and so I opened up enough to allow him in. His tongue moved around, as if to claim my mouth for his own. I wasn’t going to give it up without a fight, though, and I pushed my own tongue back at his, trying to push my way into his mouth.

But then it was gone. I blinked as I tried to refocus on the world. Snow’s face was barely an inch from mine, and his eyes caught mine as I refocused. “Let me take a wild guess here,” he said, and I once more got the sense that he was looking straight into my mind. “You like it rough, don’t you?”

I blinked a couple times, as I felt a rush of warmth in my chest. Damn, was this really happening? “Er… hold on. I mean yes, but wait…” I half expected him to take me as soon as I said that, but by some miracle, he actually did wait. I didn’t know how long he’d hold off though, so I scrambled to get out what I needed to say. “Okay, safe word’s ‘red.’ I say that, you stop. You say that, I stop – and you’d better be prepared to need it. I don’t plan to give up easily. And two, your swollen head is going to need protection or it’s no go.”

I didn’t see any sign of objection from Snow, and so as soon as those words were out of my mouth, I dove back in to capture his lips in a kiss of my own. I hadn’t been able to get my tongue into his mouth in our first kiss, and I wasn’t planning to let him hold that over me. I reached my hand up to grab onto the back of his head and pull it in tight as I shoved my tongue forward, managing to push it into his mouth so I could claim it as my own. The element of surprise served me well here, and his mouth was mine with almost no resistance.

Snow, however, seemed to have other plans in mind. While I was preoccupied with kissing him, his hand reached down to grasp my ass, squeezing in firmly on it. Ah yeah, that’s how you do it… I then sought out his lower lip in my kiss, and I pushed forward so that I could bite down on it, letting out a growl from the back of my throat. His hand squeezed in even more firmly on my ass in response, and he began to feel it up in earnest.

He’d ceded the kiss to me, but he was winning out when it came to feeling me up. Well, no reason two couldn’t play at that game. I brought both of my hands down to his ass, cupping a cheek in each of my hands and giving them a good squeeze. Just as I’d hoped, this prompted a growl from him, and he pushed me back up sharply against the wall. His free hand came up to my shoulder and held it back as he pulled away from the kiss.

“Bedroom,” he said simply, his eyes once more locked with mine. “Where is it?”

My lips curled up. “What, not strong enough to do it against the wall?”

A low chuckle came out of the back of Snow’s throat. He leaned in and brought his lips to my ear. After a quick nip on my earlobe, he whispered into my ear, “For what I’ve got planned, you’ll want to be lying down.”

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