sled ski

Cute date ideas

-Picnic in a garden

-Ice skating even though one of them doesn’t know how

-Rollerskating even though they both done know how

-Walk on the beach at sunset

-Swimming even though one of them can only do the doggy paddle

-Fancy restaurant to see how the other cleans up

-Hiking because one of them knows the best place to see the sunset/sunrise

-Skiing/snowboarding because they can cuddle afterwards to get warm

-Walk through the park/garden

-Just staying in to watch the sunset and stars on the balcony

-Cuddling on the couch marathoning LOTR with ice cream and popcorn

-Home cooked meal because one of them really wants to impress the other even if they did overcook the noodles

-One of their favorite coffee shops

-Diner where they can make out in the back booth and no one will notice

-Family owned restaurant where one of them goes so often they could name everyone who works there. Their date finds it endearing

-Sledding because who the fuck doesn’t love sledding

-Dog park because DOGS

6

It’s #AlaskaDay!

Having purchased it from Russia on March 30, 1867 for $7.2 million dollars, the United States formally took possession of the territory of Alaska on October 18, 1867, now observed as Alaska Day.

Celebrate by volunteering for a Citizen Archivist Mission to tag and transcribe these vintage Forest Service photos of Alaska

Selected photos from:  Series: Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History, ca. 1897 - ca. 1980Record Group 95: Records of the Forest Service, 1870 - 2008

How to get started as a Citizen Archivist 

The First Snowfall Starters

Send an icon to:

❄ to throw a snowball at my muse

⛄ for my muse to try to convince yours to help build a snowman in the fresh snow

👤to drop a coat on my muse since they seem mighty cold and not dressed properly for the weather.

👥 for our muses to go for a walk in the falling snow

👅 my muse drags yours out to try to catch snowflakes

🍵for your muse to make mine something warm to drink

🏂 for our muses to go out to snowboard/ski/sledding

🎥 for our muses to say “nah” and stay inside where it’s warm and watch a movie or something.

🌁+ any other scenario you wish!

Winter date ideas 💘

• Ice skating

• Christmas tree lighting

• There’s usually light shows around Christmas

• Skiing/sledding/snowboarding

• Indoor skydiving

• fondue night (fondue kits are usually on sale at Macy’s)

• Make a bucket list

• Indoor mini golf

• Indoor rock climbing

• Couples Massage

• Watch a play

• Ice sculpture shows

• Baking

• Cooking classes

• Weekend getaways (cottage, log cabins, poconos type stuff) or Groupon if you want to go someplace warm to escape winter

• A whole lot of Netflix & chilling

100 Reasons To Live

  1. We would miss you.
  2. It does get better. Eventually, it will get better. Before every rainbow, there’s a storm, and before every dawn there’s the darkness of night.
  3. There are so many things you would miss out on doing.
  4. There are so many people you would miss out on meeting.
  5. Many people care about you. I know I do.
  6. You are worth happiness and you are worth life. Don’t let anyone yourself included, tell you otherwise.
  7. You are amazing.
  8. The freedom of owning your own car, or of graduating from school.
  9. You will never hear the voice of your favourite musical artist again if you’re gone.
  10. The feeling of walking into a warm building or standing beside a fire on a cold day.
  11. You’ll find your soulmate someday, if romance is a path you want to walk along.
  12. Red pandas. 
  13. Sitting at diners at three in the morning when the world is somehow quiet and whispering all at once.
  14. Soft pillows.
  15. Eating pizza.
  16. Proving all the naysayers wrong when you succeed. (And you will.)
  17. Being able to help other people.
  18. Sitting on rooftops, whether it’s to watch the clouds or the stars, or to simply sit and think.
  19. Going on roadtrips, by yourself or with good friends.
  20. Singing loudly along with music in the car.
  21. Hearing crazy stories.
  22. Telling other people crazy stories.
  23. Ice cream on a hot day. 
  24. Meeting your heroes or people you look up to in person.
  25. Staying in your own room at a fancy hotel.
  26. Trampolines, and the feeling of jumping higher than you could on solid ground.
  27. Your favourite film. You won’t get to watch it again if you’re gone, you know.
  28. Laughing out loud because of an inside joke between you and a friend, or simply because you saw or heard something funny. 
  29. You make the world better, even if it’s just for one person.
  30. People do care. I promise.
  31. Treehouses.
  32. You are unique. There is no one on this planet exactly like you.
  33. A cat could become president of the United States and you won’t be around to see it. 
  34. Chocolate.
  35. Starbucks.
  36. Hugs, if you like them.
  37. You have a purpose. Trust me. Everyone does.
  38. You’ve changed someone’s life. And you could change the world.
  39. You have your entire life ahead of you.
  40. Snow angels and snowmen.
  41. And snowball fights, and sledding, and skiing, and snow forts!
  42. Laughing until you cry. 
  43. The world would not be the same if you didn’t exist. 
  44. A hot, relaxing shower or bath after a stressful day.
  45. Getting completely hammered with a group of good friends.
  46. Good food.
  47. Staying up all night watching your favourite films or binging your favourite television programme.
  48. Dancing and singing along to your favourite songs.
  49. Sleeping in.
  50. Creating something you’re proud of.
  51. Meeting your Internet friends.
  52. Tea, whether it’s hot or iced.
  53. Chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven.
  54. Holding someone’s hand.
  55. Finding sea glass worn smooth by time.
  56. Listening to a new album from one of your favourite musical artists.
  57. Hiking up a mountain.
  58. Making a child giggle until they fall over.
  59. Packages and cards in the mail.
  60. Musicals. 
  61. Old books.
  62. Popsicles in the summer.
  63. Sunlight filtering through the leaves of the trees and dappling the ground.
  64. Dogs. Stray dogs, dogs that need saving, pet dogs, other people’s dogs, fluffy dogs, big dogs, small dogs.
  65. The sunset or sunrise in hues of rose and gold and lavender, like the sky has caught fire.
  66. Forests, and walking through them.
  67. Picnics.
  68. Guitars.
  69. Pianos.
  70. Kaleidoscopes. 
  71. Free samples in grocery stores, and the kind workers who slip you extra ones.
  72. Plants; taking care of them, admiring them, sitting among them and thinking.
  73. Poetry.
  74. Sunlight shining into your room after a rainstorm. 
  75. Beaches; the soft sand, the hushed murmur of the waves.
  76. Bird watching.
  77. Christmas, or Hannukah, or Kwanzaa. 
  78. Fireworks; bursts of colour and brightness and crackling energy.
  79. Constellations, and learning to pick them out from the dark blue velvet of the night sky.
  80. Late night phone calls or video chats.
  81. Roaming thrift shops and finding wonderful new clothing or items that you can afford. 
  82. Vacations to familiar places, or to new places to explore.
  83. Compliments.
  84. Learning; learning new concepts, or new language, or new lessons, or new songs.
  85. Autumn. The colourful leaves, the special flavours of lattes, Halloween, scarves, candy, sweaters, leaping into leaf piles, the way the air in the morning is crisp and cold and gives a jolt of energy to your lungs when you inhale.
  86. Sorting your favourite characters or even other people into Hogwarts houses.
  87. Someday your dreams will come true. 
  88. Baking; cookies, pies, biscuits, bread, cakes, and whatever else you want to eat. 
  89. Cats; their soft fur, bright eyes, hilarious antics, and the low rumble of their purrs as they curl up beside you. 
  90. Feeling the wind whip through your hair as you rollerskate, or ride a bicycle, or skateboard.
  91. Standing in the rain with your face tilted upward and feeling the cool droplets on your face and just reveling in the feeling. 
  92. Decorating your room or your new apartment in just the right way so that it looks wonderful and reflects a look that is uniquely you.
  93. That feeling when you get in bed after a long day, and your body just completely relaxes.
  94. Butterflies. Gentle, pretty, colourful-winged creatures.
  95. Bumblebees! They’re such noble creatures, and it’s because of them we have all the different foods we do.
  96. Horseback riding.
  97. Reading a story or watching something that gives you a totally new perspective and makes you think about the world that much differently.
  98. Colours. Imagine how dull the world would be without them. (Imagine how dull the world would be without you and your smile.)
  99. I love you. And if even one person loves you, that’s still a reason to stay alive.
  100. “There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.

Run. Eat. Drink. Eat more. Don’t throw up. Instead, take a piss. Then take a crap. Wipe your butt. Make a phone call. Open a door. Ride your bike. Ride in a car. Ride in a subway. Talk. Talk to people. Read. Read maps. Make maps. Make art. Talk about your art. Sell your art. Take a test. Get into a school. Celebrate. Have a party. Write a thank-you note to someone. Hug your mom. Kiss your dad. Kiss your little sister. Make out with Noelle. Make out with her more. Touch her. Hold her hand. Take her out somewhere. Meet her friends. Run down a street with her. Take her on a picnic. Eat with her. See a movie with her. See a movie with Aaron. Heck, see a movie with Nia, once you’re cool with her. Get cool with more people. Drink coffee in little coffee-drinking places. Tell people your story. Volunteer. Go back to Six North. Walk in as a volunteer and say hi to everyone who waited on you as a patient. Help people. Help people like Bobby. Get people books and music that they want when they’re there. Help people like Muqtada. Show them how to draw. Draw more. Try drawing a landscape. Try drawing a person. Try drawing a naked person. Try drawing Noelle naked. Travel. Fly. Swim. Meet. Love. Dance. Win. Smile. Laugh. Hold. Walk. Skip. Okay, it’s weird, whatever, skip.

Ski. Sled. Play basketball. Jog. Run. Run. Run. Run home. Run home and enjoy. Enjoy. Take these verbs and enjoy them. They’re yours, Craig. You deserve them because you chose them. You could have left them all behind but you chose to stay here. So now live for real, Craig. Live. Live. Live. Live. Live.
—  It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

anonymous asked:

Hi J, it’s been a terrible week for L. Was hoping for a little fic if/when you’re feeling up to it? Absolutely no rush. Siblings and reassurance and cuddles and maybe a little stargazing? Please include touch consent. With or without superfam, up to you. L U B, and thank you, so much. W

She’s sleeping in Maggie’s arms when her phone buzzes.

Persistently.

Maggie rouses before she does and fumbles her hand across the scattered sheets for the phone.

“I think it’s yours, babe,” she mumbles sleepily, and manages to find the phone in Alex’s jeans pocket, dangling at the edge of the bed.

“Mmm, thank you,” Alex kisses her cheek with a sleepy smile as she checks the text – the texts – that are coming through.

Alex, I’m so sorry, but I miss you.

I know you’re spending time with Maggie, but – you know what, never mind, forget that last text.

I’m sorry.

I love you.

I hope you’re sleeping well. Or whatever you’re up to. Say hi to Maggie for me.

Maggie watches Alex read and kisses her bare shoulder. “Go, Ally. I’ll be here when you get home. Or if you want to spend the night there, I’ll see you at lunch tomorrow.”

“How do you – “

“I know your Kara needs me face by now, Alex. Go. And give her a hug from me too, okay?”

Alex squints and quirks her pursed lips to the side as she examines Maggie’s sleepy, perfect face.

“You’re the best, you know that?”

Maggie’s smile broadens.

“Not so bad yourself, Danvers. Don’t forget to put on pants.”

She chuckles as she tugs them on and she relishes the crisp coolness of the night’s breeze whipping over her body as she speeds her Triumph to her little sister’s apartment.

“Hey sis,” she calls softly as she opens the door, finding Kara exactly where she expected to: wrapped in blankets, surrounded by donuts, on the couch.

She sighs at the sight of her sister’s sad, confused face, and she shrugs out of her jacket as she approaches the couch and perches on the edge.

“You didn’t have to come,” Kara mumbles through a mouthful of donut, and Alex’s heart breaks.

“Do you want touch?” she asks, and Kara nods without looking at her.

Alex shifts closer and strokes Kara’s cheek with a gentleness that, until Maggie, she’d only ever had for her little sister.

Kara sighs and closes her eyes and leans into her touch, so Alex brings her other hand up to stroke her hair, too, and lets Kara lean into her shoulder.

“I can’t make anything work out right, and there’s never a break,” Kara says after how long, she couldn’t tell. Alex nods quietly and watches her sister.

“Can I be closer?” Kara asks, and Alex opens her arms.

Kara cradles herself into Alex’s chest, because her steady heartbeat is even more comforting on contact than it is with her superhearing.

“You’re not the reason things haven’t been going well, Kara. You’re not responsible for the horrible things other people do, for the way the world works. I know you think you are, I know you take on the weight of all that. I know you’re a hero, Kara, but that… that doesn’t mean you can fix everything, every time. It’s okay to just… take this. Carve out breaks. You deserve to be loved, Kara. You can make this time for yourself. It’s okay.”

“But I’m taking you away from your girlfriend.”

“There’s enough of me to go around, Kara. I have enough love for both of you, I promise. And you will always be my sister. I will always, always be here for you. Okay?”

Kara tilts her head so she can look up into her big sister’s eyes, and Alex smiles down at her.

“Hi.”

Kara grins softly. “Hi. Can I show you something?”

Alex furrows her brow but nods, and Kara scrambles out of the blankets, stands, and offers her hand to Alex.

“Where are we going?”

“Up.”

“Flying?”

Kara chuckles. “We don’t have to fly to go up. I just want to be Kara tonight.”

Alex nods and accepts her hand eagerly. Their fingers lace automatically.

It’s a short flight of stairs to the roof, and Alex is glad Kara grabbed her jacket on the way out. She tugs it around her and Kara hugs herself and Alex steps behind her, following her gaze up, up, up.

“I know you’re Kryptonian and therefore above things like chilly California nights, but since you’re just Kara tonight, you want to snuggle away the cold?”

Kara smiles and nods, and Alex wraps her arms around her little sister, and they sit, Alex’s legs open around Kara, Kara leaning back into her sister slightly; like they used to in Midvale, like they used to when they went sledding on those ski trips that Kara pouted Eliza into taking them on.

“Tell me,” Alex asks.

Because she knows all the stellar classifications and distances from Earth and proximity to exoplanets and all the facts, all the science.

But she doesn’t know the stories.

Kara does, and Alex never, ever tires of hearing them.

Her little sister’s soft voice brings her across the sky, to planets she could only imagine, to planets that have amazing desert, but nothing as incredible as Eliza’s chocolate pecan pie; to planets with three suns and planets whose governments aren’t governments so much as consent-based communities.

Neither of them notice when the sun starts to come up, but they both notice that they feel lighter, feel happier, feel safer. Feel home.

On this day in 1915, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado officially became a national park. Even in cold weather, you can explore the park’s spectacular mountain environments by snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding and wildlife watching. In fact, winter is an especially good time to look for elk, mule deer, moose and other large mammals. Sunrise photo of Dream Lake in 2014 by C. Brindle, National Park Service.

Ten Holiday Journal Prompts To Give You The Warm & Fuzzies.

1) Write out a list of your friends and loved ones. Beside each name, write their most obvious traits. ie. Sleeps a lot, is always cold, reads nonstop, etc. Then, write a gift idea that suites that trait. 

2) Write about the best christmas gift you have ever gotten. Who gave it to you? Do you still have it? What made it memorable?

3) Brainstorm small acts of kindness that can brighten up the holiday season for those around you. ie. Bringing homemade cookies to work, buying hot chocolate for a homeless person, giving a christmas card to your bus driver. You don’t have to do all of them, but it’s nice to get into the headspace of extending universal kindness. 

4) List the nice things strangers have done for you recently. The smaller the better. Did the barista cover 20 cents so you could get a coffee? Did the bus driver wait while you ran through the rain so you wouldn’t have to catch the next one? Come up with ways that you can pay these kindnesses forward. 

5) Brainstorm homemade gifts that are inexpensive and easy to make that you can give to the people you wouldn’t normally give christmas presents to. Baked goods, tin can lanterns ( tutorial ), small letters, christmas cards hand-decorated with glitter glue, etc. 

6) List every single thing you love about christmas. Every. Single. Thing. 

7) Draft a budget for the holiday season. Sticking with a budget can help relieve stress, even just looking at it can ease your guilt after spending a ton on the people you care about. Include how much you make each week, how much you spend on food, clothing, etc, and how much you have left over to save for the holiday season. 

8) Write about your favourite winter activities. Inside or outside. ie. Skiing,  Sledding, Putting up decorations, Making gifts, Drinking hot chocolate during a storm?

9) Cut holiday recipes out of magazines and newspapers and paste them in your journal. Add your thoughts on each dish, and a few ideas of who you know who would like it best, how to make it healthier/ tastier/ fit your/their diet. 

10) Delve into the sensory experience of christmas. What does it sound like? Taste like? Smell like? What textures remind you of christmas? What colours and shapes? Get creative in your descriptions, imagine you are describing a scene for a novel. Add drawings and diagrams to punctuate your descriptions. 

anonymous asked:

2p Canada boyfriend headcannons please

2p! Canada Boyfriend Headcannons:


- I’m sorry, who’s yo man again?
- Oh that’s right
- MATHIEU FUCKING WILLIAMS
- This man looks like he could kill you
- He can
- But as his s/o, you get Teddy Bear Boi
- BEST HUGS
-SUCH WARM, SO SNUGGLE
- 100000/10
- Pancakes for breakfast every morning
- No matter how early you wake up, he’s already cooked pancakes and made coffee
- And those pancakes
- M8
- THIS BOI IS A GOD DAMN MIRACLE WITH A FRYING PAN AND FLOUR
- Camping is a must
- Even if you don’t like the outdoors, you’ll end up enjoying yourself
- Takes you ice skating on frozen lakes in the middle of a forest
- Great teacher, you become a pro in no time
- Also teaches you to ski and sled
- STEAL HIS FLANNELS
- DO IT
- HE’S SO FUCKING WEAK WHEN HE SEES HIS S/O IN HIS SHIRTS
- PLUS THEY’RE REALLY COMFORTABLE
- Kisses on the forehead 24/7
- But you don’t mind (of course you don’t bitch this is Mathieu we’re talking about)
- Stubble tickles a little and when you giggle HE MELTS
- Reading with you asleep on his lap
- Arm around you when watching TV
- Hand holding in public
- Patience of a saint, Hallelujah
- If you’re short, if you ask him for a kiss HE BECOMES PUTTY IN YOUR HANDS
- A little flustered if you kiss him in public, bless this man
- You chill together at cafes a lot
- Doesn’t normally get jealous so doesn’t mind when you hang out with your male friends
- If he does get jealous
- STARTS MAKING OUT WITH YOU RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GUY/GIRL FLIRTING W/ YOU
- Natural intimidation scares off creeps
- Prefers to sway on the spot rather than waltz
- But you don’t care
- It feels just as magical
- Very casual, wholesome & comfortable relationship as a whole
- Mathieu Williams A.K.A Your Boyfriend

If I Could Fly | Louis Tomlinson

A/N: Track 6 out of 17.  From my Made In The A.M. (Deluxe Edition) Series! Find the rest of the songs on my Masterlist!

Originally posted by tmlnsn

Fat snowflakes float down to the already coated ground, building on the depth. I try to run to get to the perfect spot, but my boots keep getting stuck with each step I take, making me almost lose my balance a couple of times. A heavy knitted scarf is wrapped around my neck, and a beanie is placed snug on my head. I love the snow. I love the things you can make with it and the fun it brings the snowball fights, sledding, skiing, snow angels. I love being trapped in the warm house and watching it fall. I love how beautiful it looks. How it sparkles in the sunlight, making it look like billions of diamonds instead of frozen water coating the grass.

However, the snow can’t compare to the beautiful girl struggling to keep up with me. Her head is bowed low, trying to keep the flakes out of her eyes and her arms crossed to keep her turquoise pea coat closed. I look back at her and smile. She hates the snow, but she insisted that she would stick it out just for me. That’s one of the many things I love about her. Her heart is full of kindness, always so giving and cheery. She always wants to make people feel special even if it risks her own happiness. I’ve never met someone who cares so much for the human race.

That’s why I fell in love her, only she doesn’t know it yet. That’s why I’m going to tell her, on this lovely December afternoon, under my favorite maple tree, right next to the snowman we built yesterday.

“Why are you dragging me out here? Didn’t you have fun yesterday?”

This makes me chuckle. “I always have a good time with you, but just come on! It’s right over there.” She groans and keeps following me, stepping in my footprints like a little kid.

When we reach the tree, the branches are caked with snow. It almost looks like a Hallmark greeting card. Our snowman still stands, his top hat is dusted with white and his carrot nose is a little crooked, so I fix it. She leans against the tree, arms still crossed. “This scarf is a little off, too.” I twist it around, so the tied part hangs in the front.

I walk over and lean against the tree, too, looking out at the rest of the park. Not too many other people are out right now. Wouldn’t surprise me though, it’s almost five, and the weather isn’t exactly favorited by others. “What did you bring me out here for Lou?” She asks again, her teeth chattering together.

Looking over, I see her eyes on mine. Rogue flakes are stuck in her hair. I bite my lip nervously. “I brought you out here because I-I wanted to say that..” My sea green eyes avert to the ground.

“You okay?” She asks a hint of amusement in her voice.

I flick my head back up and say it with the utmost confidence. “I’m in love with you, (Y/N)… I have been for a while, and I really didn’t know how to tell you.” She stares at me, eyes wide. “I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving for another tour without telling you how I feel. There are so many things that made me fall for you. All the things that you do.” I smile, my eyes watering from overwhelming emotion. “I just love you, okay?”

“Okay,” She says softly with a huge smile then plants her feather-soft lips on mine. I’ve been waiting for that for so long. It’s everything I imagined it would be and more. My hands lace around the small of her back tugging her closer to me while her tiny hands rest at the base of my shoulders. I smile in the kiss and pull away, resting her forehead on mine.

“I love you, Louis.” She whispers, her breaths of air visible from the cold.

“And I you,” I say. “I have to ask, will you be mine, love? I’ll feel better knowing that when I leave for tour that I’m yours.” I gathered her in my arms in a tight bear hug, planting pecks all over her face as she laughed.

She said yes.

These past five years have been the best I’ve ever had besides the ones I’ve spent with the boys. Sure, we’ve had some rough patches like every couple, but we’ve worked through everything because that’s what strong relationships do. We talk out our problems instead of shoving them aside. I know it’s hard for her with me being away for such long periods of time. I call her when I can and Skype with her so I can see her beautiful face again. However, when you see her sitting on the bed you share, on the verge of tears when she says how much she misses you and there’s not a single thing you can do about it; it’s tearing me into a million pieces.

It doesn’t help that every single tabloid in the world wants nothing to do, but kill your career and your flourishing love life. Lies spread on every single magazine and website. I absolutely hate it. I tell her all the time not to believe them, but sometimes she gets a little paranoid about them. I am hers and only hers. I haven’t looked at another woman like that since she became mine all those years ago.

Today is our six year anniversary, and I have quite the evening planned for the two of us. Since we just wrapped up our latest tour, I managed to get home just in time for it. “You’ll sure she’ll like this?” Liam asks me as he adjusts his bow tie.

“I sure hope so, even though she is a girl of simplicity.” I always go all out for this special day. Whether it’s a thousand roses, a fancy dinner, I always want to impress my lady. This year, I decided to celebrate where I first asked her to be my girlfriend; the huge maple tree in the park. The boys helped me decorate it with Christmas lights, so it sparkles like it did in the winter. I also rented out the whole place and had a grand piano and three microphones delivered to sit right beside the old thing. Petals of red roses are sprinkled across the top of it and lead right to the spot where the boys and I are.

I look at my watch and check the time, almost six o’ clock. “Where’s your girlfriend Niall?”

He shrugs his shoulders and adjusts his Irish stripped mic on the stand. “She’ll be here. You know she’s fashionably late a lot.”

My leg starts bouncing as I wait impatiently, sitting at the piano. Anxious to just start playing those keys for her. A hand comes down on my shoulder, and I look up to see Harry giving me a half smile. “You look nervous, but she’ll love it mate. Trust me.” I give him a curious look. “Since it’s you, she’ll love it.” His green eyes flick up, and he pats my shoulder again. “She’s here.”

He walks back over to his mic stand, and I turn and see her standing with her best friend; she wears a wine colored dress that cascades down to the floor. Her brown hair is curled loosely around her shoulders.

Absolutely breathtaking.

She opens her mouth to speak, but I hold out a finger to stop her, eager to get started. “First, I’d like to say that I love you and happy anniversary. Just listen.”

My fingers start playing the keys gracefully, and the boys start to sing each of their parts.

“If I could fly, I’d be coming right back home to you.

I think I might give up everything just ask me to.”

“Pay attention, I hope that you’re listening cause I let my guard down, right now I’m completely defenseless.”

“For your eyes only, I show you my heart for when you’re lonely and forget who you are. I’m missing half of me when we’re apart; now you know me for your eyes only. For your eyes only.”

“I’ve got scars even though they always can’t be seen. Pain get hard, but now you’re here, and I don’t feel a thing.” I glance over at her and smile after my verse. Her eyes glisten like the lights above her. I love her.

“Pay attention, I hope that you’re listening cause I let my guard down. Right now I’m completely defenseless.”

“For your eyes only, I show you my heart for when you’re lonely and forget who you are. I’m missing half of me when we’re apart; now you know me for your eyes only.

"I can feel your heart inside of mine; I feel it, I feel it. I’ve been going out of my mind; I feel it, I feel it. Know that I’m just wasting time and I hope that you don’t run from me.”

“For your eyes only,”

“I show you my heart.”

“For when you’re lonely,”

“And forget who you are.”

“I’m missing half of me when we’re apart; now you know me for your eyes only. For your eyes only, I show you my heart for when you’re lonely and forget who you are. I’m missing half of me when we’re apart; now you know me for your eyes only. For your eyes only. For your eyes only.”

The last note rings on my fingers then I stand up. “Thank you, boys.” They nod in acknowledgment, and I walk over to her. Tears are falling down her cheeks, she quickly wipes them away with her hand. I kiss her forehead, then I drop to one knee, finally pulling out the velvety black box I had stored in my tuxedo jacket. She lets out a gasp, her hands fly to her mouth. “(Y/N), you know I love you more than anything and that I’d do absolutely anything for you. You’re probably the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, and I love everything about you. So I’m asking you to marry me, love. Will you?” I tip open the lid, revealing the ring.

I happily slide it on her finger and kiss her with as much passion as I can muster. I hear the boys and her friend cheering behind us.

She said yes, again.

A year later, and we are back at that same maple tree under the same lights with the same people plus a few. I’m currently face-to-face with my beautiful bride, smiling uncontrollably. We just finished saying our vows, and the preacher has asked the most important question, starting with myself. “Louis, will you take (Y/N) to be your lawfully wedded wife?” My eyes drift down her body, and my smile grows. She looked damn good in that wine colored dress, but she looks even better in white. “I do,”

“And do you, (Y/N), take Louis to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

I love her.

“I do,” She says and giggles.

“Then I now present to your ladies and gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson!” Our attendees cheer at their loudest, and I give her a tender kiss or two or three, then take her hand in mine and walk down the aisle to the limo waiting on the curb.

Instead of yes, she’s said I do, and that’s the most precious thing she’s ever said to me.

f(x)[Amber]- Marriage Profile
  • Proposal:

Really cute. She’d give you a back hug then show you the ring. “Marry me jagi?” She’d attack you with kisses after you say yes.

  • Wedding:

Theme/Colors-

Size-

Little over medium. f(x), her family, her close friends, your family, and your close friends

Photos-

She would have to be kissing you in at least one photo. And don’t expect her to wear a dress cause she’s said before that she will not wear one on her wedding day.

Originally posted by 4smols

  • Honeymoon:

Bavaria, Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle(inspiration of Sleeping Beauty’s castle), Oberstdorf(ski resort, hiking, sledding, and skiing), Ingolstadt(museums, shopping, and zoos)

  • Honeymoon Period:

3 ½ Years

Originally posted by quietlim

  • Married Life:

Where you live-

Staying Seoul for awhile but then eventually moving closer to family.

House-

Romance-

She’d keep the romance up forever. Always giving you back hugs, cute gifts, kiss attacks, and tells you every chance she has that she loves you.

Chores-

Would deal with dusting, cleaning the kitchen and living room, and will vacuum.

Originally posted by bruins-and-kittens

  • Family:

How long until you have kids-

1 ½ Years

Pets-

Jackjack and probably getting another dog

How many-

2

Gender-

2 boys with a 3 year age gap

Teenage Kids-

Sometimes is the cool mom other times is the embarrassing mom. Will support her children till the end and gives them enough space for them to learn on their own. And in public her kids will try to get as far away from her as they can cause she will purposely embarrass them.

Originally posted by mmmmmilikeamber

~~~

Admin C

KIEVAN RUS: TRAVEL BY LAND AND SEA

This is an excerpt from: KIEVAN RUS: PART 1 – NORTHERN ENIGMA OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

The realm of Kievan Rus was riddled with rivers that worked as superhighways for fast and easy travel: routes connecting the Rus to the Balts, Finns, Ugrians and Scandinavians to the north; ones leading east into the domains of the infamous steppe nomads and the rich Islamic world; south to the Black Sea which gave access to the Bulgarian Empire and the Byzantines. While land travel was possible it was made all the more difficult for large armies as the ground would become muddied in the spring and autumn due to rainfall and winter snows melting. However, in the winter it was actually easier to traverse on foot than it was during the warmer seasons as the rivers would freeze and the Rus would also employ the use of sleds, snowshoes, skis and ‘frost nails’ (spikes on the bottom of shoes or horseshoes for traction; think of cleats).

^ Frost Nails. 

The Rus that sailed these rivers had to avoid obstructions and shallow rapids so they (portaged) carried or pulled their ships onto land, dragged them over logs until they passed around these obstacles then pushed their ships back into the river at another location. This was also done to move boats from one river to another since the whole of their realm was a patchwork or web of waterways. This process of portaging could prove to be a dangerous one as the Rus would become susceptible to being ambushed or assaulted by various nomadic steppe peoples.

To combat this Rusians constructed ports, garrisons and forts along the rivers to give temporary refuge, shelter, aid and protection. Another safe refuge for the Rusians were the many islands that dotted the rivers they traversed. Since the Rus typically dominated rivers they used these islands as pit stops to keep the bandit horsemen of the steppes at bay. The Rus also hired and allied themselves with some steppe nomads to ward off other hostile invaders. The Druzhina (imperial guards) and these nomad allies rode on land alongside the vessels sailing these rivers and guarded them while they portaged.

Nor can the Russians come at this imperial city of the Romans, either for war or for trade, unless they are at peace with the Pechenegs, because when the Russians come with their ships to the barrages of the river and cannot pass through unless they lift their ships off the river and carry them past by portaging them on their shoulders, then the men of this nation of the Pechenegs set upon them, and, as they cannot do two things at once, they are easily routed and cut to pieces…” – De Administrando Imperio (“On the Administration of the Empire”) by Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus c.950.

Though the many rapids that peppered the great rivers of the Rus were a hassle, they were also just as much of a curse as they were a blessing. Enemies attempting to lead a naval invasion of Kievan Rus were constricted by the fact that they could only use smaller vessels capable of sailing shallow rivers and in effect, send less men up at a time. Enemy vessels were also equally at risk of being attacked while portaging as the Rus were. Another advantage of the previously mentioned portages was that these points, and the fortified structures often stationed near them, became advantageous for traders and merchants and boat repairmen. 

Osprey - ‘Men-at-Arms’ series, issue 491 - Armies of the Volga Bulgars
& Khanate of Kazan, 9th–16th Centuries.
 “Reconstruction of an ushkuy as used by the ushkuyniki river-pirates, and probably by many other peoples on the Volga and Kama river system. Clinker-built from pine planks, these craft had a length of 12–14m (39–46ft), a beam of perhaps one-fifth that length, a shallow draught of approximately 0.5m (20in) below the water, and about 1m (39in) of freeboard. This design gave the uskhuy considerable speed for a medieval vessel. (A.S. Sheps)

The Rus used a type of dugout boats called a monoxyla, (Greek “single-tree”) which were able to sail shallow waters. According to the ‘De Administrando Imperio’, written by Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus around c.950, the Slavic Krivichians and the Lenzanenes would go into the mountains during the winters where they would cut down trees for the crafting of monoxyla and by spring time they traverse down the now thawed Dnieper River and sell the monoxyla to the Rus. The Rus themselves added oars, rowlocks and tackle and when the Rus neared more easily traversable lakes and seas they made use of their masts, sails and rudders. Another ship used in the north was the easily portaged Finnish ushkui (uisk, “snake”) which was made famous by the Novgorodian pirates referred to as the Ushkuiniks who are seen as both heroes and villains depending on one’s perspective.

^ Osprey - ‘Men-at-Arms’ series, issue 491 - Armies of the Volga Bulgars
& Khanate of Kazan, 9th–16th Centuries. Plate E: THE USHKUYNIKI MENACE, 14th–15th CENTURIES - E2: Archer, 14th–15th centuries
: “This Volga Bulgar foot-soldier wears gear practically identical to his Russian ushkuyniki foes. The spired steel helmet has an aventail divided at both sides, covering his neck back and front but not the shoulders. The mail hauberk is short-hemmed but has sleeves to below the elbow. Note that the long-sleeved, quilted coat-armour is much shorter at the back than at the front, where it is divided from hem to belly. The slung shield and the archery equipment also resemble Russian styles, though the signalling whistle attached below his arrowhead may have been confined to the Mongols and their Volga Bulgar vassals.

If there are any errors please privately inbox me so I can update it. As always, if you’d like to read or learn about any specific historical subjects just let me know what they are and I will take note of them.

See Also:

  • KIEVAN RUS: PART 1 – NORTHERN ENIGMA OF THE MIDDLE AGES:  In this post I will be covering the early portion of the medieval realm known as Kievan Rus (pronounced ‘Roos’); a multiethnic and cultural realm incorporating the Norse, Slavs, Turks, Balts and Finno-Ugrians. A realm centered around the many rivers that were riddled throughout its domains and led them to the riches of the Byzantine Empire, Silverland (Islamic Middle East) and the Baltic Sea. The culture, battle tactics and armaments of the ancient Slavs are addressed as well as the Druzhina (personal bodyguards and standing army). Also mentioned are some of the conflicts the Rus had with one another, the Greeks (Byzantine Empire), Bulgarians and Turkish steppe nomads. 
  • KIEVAN RUS: PART 2 – DYING LIGHT IN A DARK AGE: In this post I will cover some of the civil wars, wars of succession and familicide that plagued Kievan Rus; their peak under leaders like Vladimir the Great (who unified the Rus and made Orthodox Christianity their official religion) and Yaroslav the Wise (while Europe was in a dark age, he made Kievan Rus a beacon of knowledge, literacy, trade and faith); Kievan Rus’ shattering into various feuding states, their clash against the Mongols and their rarely spoken of religion. The Chernye Klobuki (Turkish mercenaries) and the Varangian Guard (Norse, Slavic, Germanic, etc.) are also noted; the latter were warriors employed by the Byzantine Empire to act as the Emperor’s trusted personal guard and on occasion they acted as pirate hunters, policemen, jailers, prison guards, torturers and interrogators.

provider-of-guardians  asked:

Dipifica.... snow? :3

The valley glittered white, nearly blinding in the cold sunlight. Dipper stared down at the town, curled up in a thick quilt of snow with only the wisps of charcoal chimney smoke to show that anything stirred in the valley. Its blankness was dazzling.

“There’s…so much of it,” he whispered in awe. Dipper, a boy who had spent his entire childhood in Piedmont California, had only heard stories and rumours of snow days and blizzards. To be bundled in a thick winter parka, a woolen scarf, a tuque, and fleece lined boots (and still cold, he might add) standing above what looked like a scene from a Christmas special, was unreal.

His girlfriend shuffled at his side and her laugh crystallised in the chill air. “Yep. Oregon is pretty good at making a lot of snow.”

In a fuchsia coat with faux fur trim around the hood, lace up boots, and mittens, Pacifica shivered as another breeze kicked up and ran through them. Her hair whipped about her face where it stuck out from under her hood and Pacifica brushed it away with a scoff.

“I’d take California winter over Oregon winter any day,” she complained as she pulled up her collar a little higher to hide her chin from the chill.

“Really?” Dipper asked. “But it’s so pretty! And you can ski, and sled, and build snowmen, and ice skate, and…and…”

Dipper was fresh out of movie stereotypes. His experience with snow was the fake clumpy stuff that never melted and looked more like potato flakes than snow. This was the real deal, smoothed by the wind into shimmering dunes. It looked so soft that he had the strange urge to lie down in it. He was starting to understand people who made snow angels.

Pacifica rolled her eyes. “Whatever. It’s just boring old snow. Let’s get out of here.”

She turned and started down the path from whence they had come.

Dipper was baffled by Pacifica, so jaded about something so beautiful. He watched her descend the hill, over their earlier tracks. Looking back, Dipper could see where he had slipped a couple of times on the climb as the snow slid out from under his boots. He had scattered the snow, sent clumps tumbling down. A few clumps surrounded him where they had broken the untouched snow, oblong and about the side of his hand. He was struck with an idea.

Dipper crouched down and scooped up one of the clumps, packing it in his hands.

“Hey, Pacifica!”

She turned in time to catch a snowball in the chest that sprayed her face with cold powder. She yelped, “Hey!”

Dipper felt a rush of adrenaline – his first snowball! – and was quick to crouch down to mold another.

While his head was ducked, a snowball burst against his shoulder by his ear, sending snow down his collar. He squawked and lifted his head to see Pacifica grinning as she formed another snowball in her hands. He quickly tossed his newest snowball, hitting her in the middle of her back when she turned to protect herself, and raced down the hill to get in close range.

They pelted each other with snowballs among the trees, laughing and screaming in a flurry of white as they came closer and closer. Pacifica stuffed a fistful of snow down the back of his coat so it melted against the nape of his neck. He shoved a handful in her face, which earned him a playful tackle that sent them both to the ground. Their wrestling mainly consisted of joking trash talk and holds that were more like hugs, until Dipper snaked a hand under the hem of Pacifica’s coat to tickle her side.

“Noooooo!”

Pacifica howled with laughter as Dipper snuck his other hand under her coat to tickle both sides at once. As she thrashed, he rolled them over and straddled her legs to tickle her better. He relented when Pacifica started to gasp, “Stop, Dipper, stop!”

She stilled under him, panting hard, a dazed smile on her face as the final giggles subsided. Her mascara had smudged under her eyes and her face was rosy all over, but she looked happy. She smiled up at Dipper and finally said, “Not bad for your first snowball fight, Southerner.”

Dipper grinned and teased, “So snow isn’t totally boring?”

The snow crunched beneath her as she cocked her head and twisted her mouth to one side. “I guess not,” she admitted. Then, her smile returned and she said, “You know what else isn’t terrible about winter?”

“What?”

Dipper felt his heart stutter in his chest as Pacifica pushed herself up on her elbows until she was sitting upright. Now they were face to face, close enough for him to not only see but actually feel her breath.

Suddenly, Dipper didn’t feel quite so cold. In fact, he was a bit feverish.

Pacifica’s lips spread in a satisfied smile, like she knew what was going through his mind. She leaned in, and Dipper felt his chin tilt down, as if pulled by magnetic propulsion. She stopped when their noses brushed, and her mouth opened to speak.

“Hot chocolate,” she murmured. Then, she pecked him on the lips. “Come on, let’s get some at the diner.”

She shuffled out from under him and brushed the snow off of her backside once she was on her feet. Dipper stared up at his girlfriend for a moment, still stunned by the way she had so quickly turned the tables. Pacifica noticed, because she offered her hands and urged, “Come on, before your toes freeze off.”

Pacifica hauled Dipper to his feet and then set off down the ridge, always a few steps ahead. Partway down the ridge Dipper’s senses returned and he ran a few steps to catch up with her, seizing her hand. Pacifica glanced at him like she was startled, but after a few seconds she turned to face forward again. She didn’t say anything about the gesture, but she gave his hand a squeeze and started talking about how lazy Susan’s white chocolate cinnamon hot chocolate was the best.

Dipper was happy to listen as she led him down the glittering hill, now positive that he liked winter, no matter how much his boots squelched, or how drenched the back of his shirt was. Anything that made Pacifica laugh this much was good in his books.

mrs-miniladd  asked:

We need more Blaine so imagine every time you come around he gets super soft. Just being kind of a jerk but once you show up he's putty in your hands and he's just all apologizes to whoever he was bullying, blushing pulling you into him. And on top of that, no matter what you asked for he'd oblige. Hot chocolate, check. One of his sweaters, check. A ride on his ski sled, check. A complete nerd when he's with you, and it's the cutest.

yes all perfect!

Warm Wednesday™

Swiss Time - Chapter One

**Hey guys - here’s the next tale.  It’s going to be a long one … slow and steady.  I hope you like it. :-)  Another thank you to @ladygrange for getting me past a roadblock and providing the perfect title!!  What would I do without you? <3**

March 1, 1970

Montreux, Switzerland

She was nearly asleep, seduced by the steady hum of wheels on tracks racing to meet their schedule.  On time.  Always on time.  Trains never failed to make her feel that way.  Comfortable and drowsy.  Her aunt’s voice filled the compartment.

“So, what do you think?”  

Natalie’s eyes blinked open, taking in a blur of alpine white through the sheet of glass in front of her.

“Well?”

The word had garnered a bit of an edge.  She can tell I’ve been daydreaming. “I’m not sure, Aunt Sue.”

“What do you mean, you’re not sure.  This is costing us a lot of money.”

Nat’s gaze flickered back to the whirling landscape.  Us?  She means Christian.  There was no way she was going to say it out loud, though; that would only serve to pique Susan’s anger.  “I don’t mean to sound ungrateful.  I just need a little time to process everything.”  There was a skeptical hum in the back of her aunt’s throat as her mouth twisted, but she appeared to give up, at least for the moment, reclining into the leather bench seat.

Truth be told, Natalie didn’t need a little time to process everything.  It was all perfectly clear.  She’d been sent off.  Admittedly, there were worse places than a boarding school outside of Montreux, but the fact was, they’d given up on her.  At the ripe old age of fifteen.  Almost fifteen.  She couldn’t really blame them.  They weren’t prepared to be parents.  And she wasn’t prepared to be a kid.  It was an old joke in the family that she’d been born at the age of thirty, and she was beginning to believe they were right.  She made things difficult, and that wouldn’t do.  You’re lucky, and you know it.  Embrace the change.  Hell, you might even like it.  No longer content with the silence, her aunt began to shift in her seat, tapping a magazine against her leg as she reached for her cigarettes.  

“Christian’s got some guests coming tomorrow.”

Guests.  Natalie watched a ribbon of smoke trail through the air.  She’d been staying with Susan in a suite he’d procured for them in the hotel next to the casino.  It had only been a little over a week, but it was enough to catch on.  Guests almost always meant musicians.  Or people attached to them.  Christian had made quite a name for himself with the jazz festival he’d begun a few years before.  It had grown like wildfire, and he deserved the success.  He was a smart, kind man, endlessly fascinating to chat with and completely in love with her aunt.  For a brief moment, Natalie found herself wondering how many of the guests she’d slept with.  Maybe none.  Hopefully none.  Christian deserved better than that.

“Well, aren’t you going to ask who it is, Nat?”

Her tone was excited, expectant.  It’s a band. And she must know them.  Natalie stayed silent a beat longer and was rewarded with an impatient scowl.  I wasn’t born at thirty.  I was born at fifty.  Snickering to herself, she gave in.  “Who is it, Sue?  Wait, let me guess.  The Stones?”  Her aunt shook her head as the corner of her mouth curled up.  “Pink Floyd?”

“Keep going.”

She was grinning like the Cheshire Cat, and Natalie held up her hands in defeat.  “I really don’t know … just tell me.”

“Well, the singer’s about the most gorgeous man on the planet.”

She still has it, Nat mused, taking in Susan’s glowing smile.  The years had been kind to her.  She still looked twenty years old.  Her mother had glossed over the wild tales about her much younger sister’s dalliances with certain music men, but when Susan got a buzz, she’d always regale her with the full details.  Somehow, Natalie never felt shocked and was pretty sure that annoyed her aunt, as the stories inevitably grew more and more salacious.  The woman was a legend among the groupie circuit, although she hated the term “groupie,” much preferring the term “friend.”  Oh, she was a friend alright, a friend with benefits.  When she’d met Christian, sheer happenstance on one of his visits to New York, she’d given it all up, delighted to be whisked away to Lake Geneva to hobnob with entertainment stars and other high profile people.  At the clearing of her throat, Natalie realized she was daydreaming again.

“So, aren’t you excited?  They’re about to be the biggest band in the world!”

“I’m sorry, who did you say?”

“Good lord, Nat, get out of your head.  It’s Led Zeppelin, for heaven’s sake.”

Natalie knew of them, even listened to a few of their songs, courtesy of her best guy friend in the neighborhood.  Old neighborhood, she reminded herself.  “I’ve heard them.”

“They’re good, aren’t they?”

Nat nodded. They were pretty good.  But a little weird, too.  Kind of mysterious.  What had Will said that night?  They were into some heavy, dark stuff, dangerous, even.  He’d been pretty stoned, though.  She put it out of her mind as the train began to slow.  Our stop.

“Tres agreable!” Bonzo bellowed, supremely amused by his prowess with the French language.  

Or lack, thereof, Robert decided as he shook his head, exchanging a look with Jimmy.  It was the only phrase the drummer knew, and he seemed compelled and certainly content to repeat it over and over.  “Right, Bonz, we get it, tres agreable.”  The singer couldn’t suppress his chuckle as his friend roared with laughter, calling out for another drink.

Montreux.  It was their first visit to the Alpine city, and Robert had to admit he’d been looking forward to it.  A week’s vacation skiing, sledding and perhaps some other activities sounded like the perfect respite before it was back to the States.  After a quick stop in Germany, anyway.  Ahmet had set up a meeting with the band and Christian Rohner, the renowned European promoter and founder of the famous jazz festival the city hosted.  It was only in its fourth year, but it was already blowing up.  As a lovely blonde entered the dining car, he drained his glass.  Yeah, Montreux will do very nicely.   

“Let’s go, lads.  Grab your things.  This is it.”    

At Peter’s directive, Robert snatched up his bag, grimacing at the blanket of icy air that enveloped him as he stepped off the train.  Shivering, he tightened his coat around his shoulders.  At least they were on time.  You could always count on the Swiss for that.  “Bloody hell, it’s cold, man.  I thought it was supposed to be warmer here.”

“Yeah, Cole, where’s the bloody car, mate?” Bonzo grumbled, the heat from his breath forming puffy clouds of steam.  “I’m freezin’ me fuckin’ …”

“Quit your whining and start walkin’!” G boomed, following Richard’s lead as they filed across the platform.  “Hotel’s right next door.”

Robert dutifully squelched his complaint, stopping to light a cigarette.  While unseasonably cool, it was pretty, and after all, he’d certainly been in worse conditions.  With a backward glance at the train as it pulled away, he strode toward the station’s entrance.

“Watch where you’re going!“

Small hands pressed against his chest, pushing him back, and he spun around, an apology on his lips.  “Christ, I’m sorry, I …” He trailed off as he took in the young girl he’d nearly trampled.  She was a slight thing with long, dark hair, and big, dark eyes that were studying him intently.  And disapprovingly, he determined, doing his best to quell his grin.  Even with a frown, she was cute, nearly pretty, but in a quiet, understated way.  Like a child.  Bloody hell, she probably is.  Her eyes narrowed for a fraction of a second, and he was sure he’d met her before.  Or someone like her.  She speaks English … probably American.  He opened his mouth to begin where he’d left off, but she darted away, wrangling open the heavy glass doors and scurrying into the station.  He stood mute, watching her coast nimbly through the crowd.  She was calling out to someone, but it was lost in the throng.

“Robert, come on!”

Jimmy’s admonishment cut through the din, and the singer nodded, jogging to catch up with the rest of them.  He scanned the cavernous room for the girl one last time, but she was gone.

Grateful for the cozy warmth of the suite, Natalie slipped off her coat, hanging it neatly in the closet by the front door.  She shook her head, sending icy droplets across her shoulders.  Vowing to wear a hat next time, she padded to the window, mesmerized by the view.  The snow was thick and heavy, an unusual occurrence for the town, according to Christian.  She watched it take possession of the network of sidewalks around the hotel while she peeled off her boots.  The whole scene seemed enchanted, from the pristine swaths of white nestling into the ornate architecture of the buildings next door to the steely blue-green of now quiet Lake Geneva.  It was mystical, like nothing at home, and it dawned on her that she wasn’t sad anymore.  In fact, she felt kind of happy.  An alien emotion to be sure, but there it was.  Her smile was short-lived as she caught a glimpse of herself in the tall gilded mirror next to the fireplace.  God, I’m a mess.  Suddenly, she longed for nothing more than a cup of hot tea and a long bath.  She was about to announce her intentions when the phone began to ring.

“I’ll get it,” Susan called out from the bowels of her bedroom.

Natalie dropped onto the sofa, working the thin cotton socks from her frozen feet as she recalled the day.  Christian had offered to teach her how to ski, but duty had called in the form of a meeting with the headmaster of what would be her new school.  Maybe tomorrow.  She stretched her legs, wriggling her toes in hopes of feeling them again as her thoughts wandered back to the man at the train station.  Very tall, long hair … strange looking guy but kind of familiar in a weird way.  More soft spoken that I expected.  He’d sounded English, but who knew.  Everyone around her seemed to speak at least three languages.  She made a mental note to work on her French.

“Well, it looks like you’re my dinner date.”

There goes my long bath.  Natalie stifled her sigh.  “What happened to Christian?  Was that him on the phone?”

Susan nodded, perusing the array of wine in the fridge at the bar.  “Yes, says he has some last minute business to attend to.  That it can’t wait.”  She peeked her head over the top of the door.  “He told me to take you out for your birthday, and that he’ll try to meet us later.”  

“But it’s not for a few weeks.”  

She shrugged as she made her selection.  “Why not start celebrating early?  Have you ever had champagne?”  

Not waiting for an answer, Susan peeled the foil from the cork, twisting the wire cage that surrounded it.  Nat jumped at the mighty pop, much to her aunt’s delight.  She plucked two stemmed flutes from the overhead rack and laid them on the coffee table.  Natalie watched transfixed as the shimmering liquid filled the crystal, nearly trickling over.  She had an expert hand, though, pouring just enough, then a bit more, until the bubbles were gently popping into the air above the rim.  

“I take it that’s a no?” Susan asked, her lips coiling mischievously.

“Yes, I mean, no, I mean, yes, you’re right.  I’ve never had it.”  Natalie had never had anything to drink, save for a very hot, very disgusting beer, once again, courtesy of her old friend Will.  Susan held up her flute, motioning for Nat to do the same, and she followed suit, clinking hers against her aunt’s a bit too loudly.  

“Careful, darling, these are expensive.”

“Sorry,” Natalie muttered, bringing the glass to her lips.  The fizz of the bubbles against her mouth sort of tickled.

“Well, cheers!  Bottoms up, doll,” Susan chirped, downing her champagne in one fell swoop.

Again, Natalie followed suit, erupting into a coughing fit as the bubbles turned traitor, burning all the way down her throat.  She finally caught her breath as her aunt’s laugh waned.

“Let’s try it one more time, shall we?”  Susan poured another round, this time sipping genteelly.  Nat did the same, feeling her head begin to spin.  It was pleasant, though, warm and fuzzy.  “Do you like it?” Sue asked, giving her a knowing smile.

“Yeah, I do,” Natalie whispered with a snicker.  At what, she had no idea.

“You’ve got a little buzz.”  Susan’s smile morphed into a grin.  “Come on, let’s get ready.”  

Nat attempted to stand but wobbled instead.  “Where are we going again?”

“To dinner, silly,“ Sue chided, pulling her up with a flourish.  “Have you ever thought about wearing makeup?”  

Natalie struggled to keep up as they made their way down the hall.  “Not really.”

Susan turned, giving her a wink.  “You will tonight.  Let’s have some fun.”