Soooooooo this little Kailex oneshot is the very last part of a fanfic I never actually wrote the first part of. If all goes well with this, then I may consider writing the first part. Basically there's a school prom at Akarnae and Alex spends all week getting asked by tons of guys when Kaiden asks her (of course, she says yes to him). So then there's the obvious Kailex moments, like the dancing and Kaiden gawking at Alex when she enters the room. Anyway, this is set at the tail end of the prom, when they've snuck out to talk by the lake.

As always, all credit to the author, the amazing Lynette Noni, because without her the (regrettably small) TMC fandom wouldn't be here in the first place.

I'm never wearing heels again. This is the only thing I'm currently, completely, one hundred per cent sure of. My brain's turned to a pool of thick slop, thanks to the fact that Kaiden's holding my hand. Not just holding it. The whole lacing-his-fingers-with-mine thing. Not that I'm complaining. And he's got really nice hands, mind you. Large, calloused palms, and long brittle fingers. And they're warm and dry, which I've decided is a good thing.

I'll stop talking about Kaiden's hands and go back to heels. They're sinking into the earth, and they're ridiculously tall. Though they don't make me look half as short compared to him as per usual.

Oh my god, Alex! Get your shit together!

I shiver in the chilly night air, and I don't realise I'm pressing against Kaiden for warmth until I'm way closer than what can be considered platonically acceptable. Like, close enough so I can smell him, and he smells good. Not like most teenage boys, who smell like they've bathed in either freshly extracted sweat or men's deodorant. But fresh, and like wind and decent cologne.

Kaiden runs a concerned eye over me. His eyes are practically luminescent in the darkness; I can still see the bright shade of his irises perfectly. "Are you cold?"

"Nope," I lie through my teeth, and it would have been truly convincing if a shiver hadn't racked my body. Kaiden's eyebrows rise and a smile tugs at his mouth, and he releases my hand and steps back. Just as I'm wondering what he's planning on doing, he shrugs off his own jacket and puts it around my shoulders. My jaw nearly falls open at how downright chivalrous he's being.

"Better?" he says. And I am. Because I'm now warm, and also his white collared shirt is fitted enough to show how defined his torso is.

"Thanks," I smile, and he reaches for my hand once more.

We make our way down to the lake; surprisingly, it's not occupied by couples engaged in intense make out sessions. But then again, there's always the dorms to retreat to. I push those thoughts from my mind as I drop beside Kaiden to sit under a tree. My favourite tree.

Coincidence, much?

We sit there in comfortable silence. I watch moonlight rippling across the lake's surface for a few moments, and I raise my eyes to find that Kaiden's eyes aren't on the lake or the horizon, but me. Immediately I blush. "What?"

His fingertips are featherlight as he reaches out to brush that one stubborn lock of hair back. Does he know how crazy it drives me when he does that? I can't be sure. "You look amazing tonight. You really shouldn't have gone to the effort."

My blush deepens, and I mentally curse my ability to properly control the rate my face gives away what I'm feeling. So Dix was right. Maybe the dress would do, and has done, the trick. Even though my heels are probably crusted in mud. "It was worth it, for your reaction seeing me."

He chuckles bashfully, more than likely recalling his open-mouthed, admirant-eyed expression upon first seeing me. "Trust me, Alex. I felt like the luckiest guy in the room at that moment."

I make a mental note (more of a mental billboard, really, with neon flashing lights) that Kaiden James is the sweetest guy I've ever met. My cheeks are hot as I reply, "I have no idea how you thought that."

"Oh come on, A. Why wouldn't I?" He turns to me, his shy smile contrasting with the content happiness in his eyes. "You look drop-dead gorgeous tonight. Not that you're not usually gorgeous, mind you. You're always looking insanely beautiful, no matter the occasion."

I barely contain a squeal, or the urge to throw myself at him and commence all the things I've wanted to do to Kaiden for months. Instead, I stammer out a, "You - you think I'm beautiful?"

Wow. Real intelligent of you, Alex.

He flashes me a bashful grin. "Of course I do. Any guy with eyes can see how gorgeous you are, and everything else."

"Everything else? What's that supposed to mean?" Despite the confident challenge in my words, butterflies are stampeding my stomach and I'm pretty sure my brain cells have evaporated into thin air. I'm feeling silly and light and like I've drunk too much dillyberry juice, whilst at the same time I've swallowed a marble.

He smiles at me, propping himself on an elbow. Suddenly all the laughter disappears from his face, leaving an expression that surprises me. He's nervous. It actually looks quite adorable on him.

My breathing hitches at his touch when he runs his fingers gently down the side of my face, saying quietly, "Well, you're the bubbliest, funniest girl I know. And even though you're not much of an academic legend, you're still dead smart. You're brave and determined and it's a huge mistake to underestimate or oppose you. And I don't really care about the fact you sometimes have zero filter, or you're also a massive klutz, because I'm too busy paying attention to the fact you don't take crap from anyone nor do you care what anyone says or thinks about you. You don't care about what other girls care about: popularity, or dating, or reputation or wealth. And I think that's one of my favourite things about you, A."

You could likely cook an egg on my face, at this point.

I lock my gaze onto the surface of the lake, knowing that if I meet Kaiden's gaze I'll do something to completely humiliate myself.

"Alex?" he whispers, and it's the longing way he says my name that I almost lose my head completely.

I think he likes me.

He's expecting an answer, and since I have absolutely no idea how to deliver a confession, I decide to, in turn, list an abundance of compliments. "I've never met somebody like you," I say quietly, keeping my eyes on the surface of the lake. "And that's saying something, since I've met a lot of different types. I think I'm still trying to work you out, but here's what I'm sure of. You're quiet, but you've got confidence, and you're modest and selfless. You're way more talented than any other guy and you have the most genuine personality. You tend to be protective, but you'll only involve yourself if it's truly necessary. And -" I bite down on my bottom lip and sneak a glance at him. He's leaning back again, eyes on the lake. "- And I'm way more physically attracted to you then I have ever been to anybody else."

Kaiden's ears and neck go strawberry red, and I bite down on a laugh. Before I can throw my sanity away completely - and it's this close to being lost forever - I scoot close to him. Intimately close. I hear his breathing sharpen and before I lose my nerve completely I rest my head on his wide, warm, muscled shoulder.

"You know," he whispers. "I'm only all of those things when I'm around you."

I frown. What sort of person is he when I'm not around? And how does my presence have anything to do with who he is as a person? "What's that supposed to mean?" I manage.

"I mean, A," Kaiden says. "That if it wasn't for Combat, a guy like me wouldn't have ended up with a girl like you. Sure, I'm from a high-class family and I've got all those stupid titles, but just about everyone else knows me as the mysterious hottie that never talks. But around you ..."

My breathing is shallow, and my heart's hammering madly in my chest. I press closer to him, nuzzling into his neck, and he shivers at what I'm doing. "So why do I make you ... I don't know, a different person?"

"I don't know either," he whispers. I can't breathe. I'm certain I'm going to need therapy after this. "But I just feel impossibly happy, and confident, and like I can take the world on. There's definitely something warm and fuzzy. And there's no way I can focus properly on anything different when you're in the room, because you've been on my mind for months."

I swear to God, my heart is no longer beating. I untuck my head and lean back to watch him watching me. His eyelashes sweep low over his incredible blue orbs, taking in how close I'm remaining beside him. Kaiden must make a conclusion, because he repositions on his side, our bodies still pressed together.

God, I hope this ends well. If we shatter whatever we had, I don't think I'm ever going to feel the same way about somebody again.

When I speak, I'm surprised my words don't catch on my tongue, or that they don't come out as squeaky or choked. It's my regular soft voice. "You know, sometimes I feel like the only seventeen-year-old girl that hasn't had her first kiss yet."

Kaiden's eyes light up with understanding, but he shoots me a smile. "Wow. Freyans are a heck of a lot dumber than what researchers say."

"How can you be sure? I have been in Medora for almost two years."

"And I've been paying attention to you ever since you walked into that first Combat class." The combination of his matter-of-fact words and the fact I'm now curled in his arms, I burn beet red. "And anyway, you confirmed my hopes less than a minute ago."

His second sentence doesn't really register, but the impact of his first does, like a truckload of bricks. "You've noticed me for two years?!"

Kaiden falters, before grinning crookedly. "Yeah, um, about that. I mean, I was trying to impress the pretty girl in my Combat class for months on end, but you didn't even properly look at me until the actual exam, so I took my chances then."

My jaw drops. "Seriously?!"

"Seriously." I drop my head back to rest on his shoulder, and I hear his breathing hitch. "Alex ... I - I want to tell you something."

I have a very good idea of what he's about to say.

"You've probably worked out by now that I like you. You're right. Well, 'like' isn't an adequate term. I'm not sure how to label my feelings for you, but I am sure that it would mean everything if I got to call you mine." He tilts his head down, his nose brushing against mine, and whispers, "Alex, will you be my girlfriend?"

Holy crap.

Holy CRAP.

He's kidding. He's got to be kidding.

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO REACT?!

He can't possibly like somebody like me. This is a joke.

Stupidly, I say, "Is this a joke?"

I turn my eyes upwards. His face isn't containing a laugh, or arrogant triumph. He looks scared and nervous, but hopeful. His hand squeezes mine, and I know. He's being completely serious.

"Sorry, stupid question," I stammer breathily. "Kaiden, of course I'd love to be your girlfriend."

And he grins down at me. I press closer to him, but it's not discreet enough. "God, Alex. You're torturing me," he whispers, eyes lidding like a cat basking in sunlight.

I'm not sure whether to grin out of pleased embarrassment or triumph. "Why's that, huh? I did just agree to be your girlfriend."

"Well," Kaiden's hands fall on my waist. Squeezes gently. I remember the first time he ever did that, when he first danced with me at Dix's party, the way he held me. He's holding me differently now, somehow less nervously but just as confidently. "I have been wanting to kiss you for months on end, and you being so close to me and so gorgeous is really not helping."

I grin and wind my arms around his neck, snuggling against him. "As sweet as that is, James, I just want you to shut up and kiss me," I whisper.

Kaiden grins broadly, moving near instantly. His hands fall on the small of my back and to cup my face, tilting my head up toward his, and -

And then we're kissing. He, as in Kaiden James, is kissing me. Me. His lips are so warm, and so is the rest of him, and he feels so strong. The pressure of his mouth is gentle but insistant, and his lips move against mine in perfect sync. He tastes amazing, and smells incredible. He's also incredibly good at it, and I'm breathless when he pulls back.

"You're really good at that," I whisper, pressing even more against him, if possible. Now that he's my official boyfriend, I finally get to do all the things I've been holding back. And he's definitely not complaining, because his arm settles snugly around my waist.

He grins bashfully. "I'm not quite sure I believe you on the whole first-kiss thing."

My eyes widen in response to his words, my cheeks beginning to flood with heat, and I stare questioningly up at him. "Really? What is that supposed to mean?"

Kaiden's ears redden again, and he lowers his head to touch his forehead to mine. A distant compartment of my mind concludes that he's a ridiculously warm human being, because everything about him is warm. "Well," he says quietly, in that tone I know as his completely honest one. "That was the best kiss I've ever experienced."

My cheeks redden immediately. After all, I can't have been that good - and he must have kissed plenty of girls before me - there's no chance I'm his first girlfriend or his first kiss or any of that - and I wonder whether or not he's just being sweet. "You really know how to flatter a girl, don't you?" I breathe.

"Alex," he says, before brushing his lips against mine in a kiss that's far too brief for my liking, that sends an ache of longing through me. "It's the truth."

"Oh, please," I scoff.

"Stubborn, aren't you?" His mouth finds mine again. And again. He deepens the kiss slowly and strategically, like it's the most important thing in the world. I go compliant, surrendering to his hands and his mouth, which is something I never thought I'd allow myself to do, but there's a certain power Kaiden's exercising over me that nobody else does.

I'm breathless - again - when he pulls back, his eyes lidded like a cat's once more. He's looking pleased with himself as he gets to his feet and pulls me up. His arm curls tightly around me, not in the platonic way that I've become accustomed to, but in the way that a guy holds his girl. It's definitely something I could get used to. We walk slowly up towards the dorm building, bantering with one another in whispers, seeking each others' touch, exchanging kisses freely.

It's perfect.

When he drops me off at my dorm, Kaiden kisses me once more, one hand at my waist and the other at the nape of my neck, my own gripping his shoulders. The fact that it's in front of a passing group of kids from my own year makes it even better, who erupt in gasps and speculating whispers. No doubt there's going to be an endless churn of the fact Kaiden James and Alexandra Jennings kissed tomorrow morning, but I'm not worried about the gossip. I'm too busy looking forward getting to correct the gossipers and referring to him as my boyfriend.