This one is a little longer than usual, but ya'll, I started writing it and just couldn't stop. I tried to go back and cut, but loved the little back story, so I kept it all.
These were my hubby's five words:
Math was surely Satan's idea.
Aurora growled as her eraser dug into her paper again, leaving icky brown eraser turds all over her homework. Ew.
"What are you stuck on there, princess?"
Aurora rolled her eyes, cursing her mother once again for naming her baby girl after her favorite Disney movie. "Don't start with me, Jesse James." She turned to where he sat in front of the couch on the floor, an arm tossed over his knee and head bent over his calculus book. His last name wasn't James - his parents weren't as ridiculous at naming their kid as hers had been -but he let her call him that when she was mad.
Or, pretending to be mad.
He looked up at her, a chunk of blond hair falling across his forehead.
She glared at him, a scowl that immediately melted into a giggle as he tossed a wink her way. Gosh, he was adorable. "What's the formula for the circumference of a circle again?"
She smirked at him and he chucked a pencil her way. Aurora dodged it. "Hey, you Cretin!"
Jesse's eyebrows flew up. "Been paying attention in history, have we?"
If any other guy teased her like that, she'd have been livid. Not with Jesse. He crawled on all fours across the living room carpet. Aurora scooted back in her chair. "You stop, you devil."
Two seconds later he shared the seat with her, his knee pressed against her leg. He lowered his head and nibbled at her neck.
She chomped on her lip to keep a squeal from sounding as he tickled her skin with his mouth. "Some one's going to hear you," she warned. Her mom was in the kitchen, and Dad would be home any minute.
"Your parents love me," Jesse said. She couldn't deny it. Who would have thought Jesse would be such a normal part of her family? Her life? It was so weird, their very names a juxtaposition; hers of the doe eyed Disney princess and his of the notorious outlaw.
Jesse wasn't what she expected. She was a straight A, Jesus loving, virgin. Jesse was the foster kid from two doors down; a kid who, a year ago, was cold and distant, but who had a great foster family who loved him out of his shell and to church. And right to Aurora's door. Mom normally hated everyone Aurora dated, but Jesse's sweet honesty and openness had sliced through Mom's cynicism like a samurai's blade.
Jesse moved his mouth up from her neck and pressed his lips to hers.
It was so weird. He'd slept with girls. He'd drank and smoked and got caught stealing at the mall once.
He was so different now. Not perfect. But honest. A fighter, her daddy said. Jesse always said he needed Jesus to make him better. To make him good enough for her.
And here Aurora, with her untainted past and perfect princess name, could think of no one she wanted to be like more than Jesse.
Better a redeemed outlaw, than a princess, right?
At least 'princess' was just a nickname. He'd called her that in seriousness once, and she'd burst into tears, hating that he would think her perfect or untainted. He'd shown up at school the next morning with a printout of an Internet page. "Aurora." He pointed to the word -her name - on the page and the definition behind it. "Sunrise." He had looked at her, hope in his eyes. Fierceness, too. "That's what you are," he told her. "My new beginning."
She'd shown up to school the next day with a printout of the outlaw Jesse James. Under it she had written Outlaw. Known for stealing hearts of girls.
That was the day Jesse told her he loved her.
Jesse moved his face from her neck and dropped into the seat beside her, then threw his arm over her shoulders. He opened his hand so that it was palm up - their thing, he called it - and looked at her. "Still mine?" he asked.
He did this often. Said he didn't want to steal her heart, but have it only if she gave it to him. Aurora put her hand to her chest, mimicked grabbing her heart, and placed her hand in Jesse's. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. Who knew that a former youth delinquent would be the perfect guardian of her heart?