A/N-This is for Nikki (someone5) as her 18th birthday present :).

He was just so alive.

That faint smell of magnolia that lingered on her skin when she walked into the room made him insane. The way the late spring air made her hair sit on her shoulders made him absolutely insane. He wanted to sing. But he wouldn't. Not just yet.

"We're going to be late," she said as she flipped back her curled hair and looked at her watch, almost twitching with anticipation of departing.

He watched her move around the room, looking into things while he sat there, pretending to be absorbed in his writing.

But his pencil wouldn't dare move while she was there. It was a cardinal sin.

And the anticipation of her even batting and eyelash at him was wearing on his increasingly thin nerves.

"We won't be late," he pointed out, trying to stall. There was no point in telling her that they'd be on time. They were going to be so very late. And it would be so very worth it.

She looked at him doubtfully, identifying his condition as desperate and somewhat playful. A combination that more often than not turned out brutally lethal.

However, on the whole, it was a very good lethal.

"How late are we going to be? I have to formulate an excuse somehow. The real reason will not fly with my mother," she said, putting down her duffel bag and sitting on his lap from where he sat in the desk chair, the notebook long forgotten on the desk.

He welcomed her sitting with open arms and big plans. Those plans began with a smell from the nape of her neck.

So many magnolias.

"Late enough," he resolved, his lips now nestled in the hollow of her neck. She rolled her eyes and suppressed the carnal need to laugh.

"Enough is probably too late for the traffic excuse. Care to try again at the time calculation?" she wondered, reveling in every touch.

"She's going to guess anyway because you can't lie," he pointed out.

"Or because you insinuate no matter how much threat you're under," she added.

"That too." He was feeding from every word, every reaction. He stood them up, slowly trailing his fingers up and down her small, pale arms.

She shivered involuntarily and put her forehead to his chest, catching her breath a little as she shuffled backwards and sat on the bed. His hands circled to her back and continued the assault from his fingertips. It felt like butterflies up and down her back, through the thin cotton fabric of her t-shirt.

He felt her hands wrap around him in an attempt to ease the tingling.

It was just so much at once.

And it was her turn to feel unreasonably alive.

He took a moment to experiment with the feeling of his lips against hers. She took the kiss powerfully, her movements and decisions already erratic.

Jess was always methodical.

It was Rory who tried to keep everything in check.

Sometimes it was hard to see.

She ran her fingers through his hair, feeling every motion in the biggest way through her jeans and shirt.

Those feelings were unexpectedly mutual.

She felt his hand pull at her shirt, his lips in a frenzy against hers. The experiment apparently went well.

She smiled and pulled it off, interested only in keeping the situation controlled. Don't lose your cool.

She was so cool and yet so alive.

He took his shirt off and she let herself dwell a moment on his perfection. It was so painful sometimes. Painful just how good she had it when she thought no one was looking.

Everything was so exquisite she wanted to dream about it. Every time she closed her eyes she wanted to see exactly the way his eyes looked when he appeared to be so in love with her. He had to be, there was no other way to explain that look.

Jess wanted to paint the moment with words over and over again until he didn't think he'd be able to relive it one more time. The moment was too lovely.

He rolled over to her in bed, his face landing prophetically in the nape of her neck.

"Magnolias," he said as he kissed her again.