I say no world can hold a you…

Friendship, such a precious word. And such precious people. When they enter our lives, they add something to it that is entirely unique, utterly them, and we come to appreciate the colours they add to our world.

Seeing how trying to stay away from Paul and at the same time wanting to get to know him was slowly becoming a mental health hazard, I have decided that we should be friends. Friends. Pure innocent friendship. It seems to be working for the both of us. We aren't silently staring across the room at each other anymore, but instead conversing like..well…like friends.

Fine. Friendship isn't what I want with Paul. Usually we would just hang out, chatting about whatever was on our mind. We tried to stay away from home though, because Uncle Sam and my brothers seemed to have formed some sort of aversion to Paul and I know exactly why. I tried to assure them of our platonic relationship, but they would still give me these unbelieving glances. There was something else in their eyes too, like I didn't understand the whole picture and why exactly it was not a smart choice to get involved with Paul.

Not that they had to worry anyways. Paul seemed content enough just being my friend. He hasn't made a move to touch me in any way, and if we got too close, he would always step away. Not that I minded, trying not to think of him romantically would be hard if he was interested too.

I had to stay away from anything romantic. I don't even know how much time I have left…

Today was one of our hangout days, and he was planning a surprise.

I went to my closet and tried to pick out something nice to where. After trying on about five outfits, I decided on a green blouse and a knee length white dress. I heard a knock on the door, and rushed downstairs to answer it before anyone else could get there. Unfortunately, someone beat me to it. I was on the top of the stairs when the door opened.

"Paul, I have been meaning to speak to you."

I felt a little bit like a stalker, since this is not the first time I have eavesdropped. But it's not necessarily my fault that these opportunities kept offering themselves to me.

"Hey Ian. You know what, want to talk about it later? I'm here to pick up Kayley."

"Kayley is exactly what I plan on talking to you about."

"Oh."

"Look Paul, I don't understand what is going on between you two. I know you haven't imprinted on her. So why are you spending so much time with her?"

"I don't need to explain anything to you. Besides, I just want to be her friend. I promise, nothing else." I couldn't say that didn't hurt…a little.

"Have you forgotten that I can see your thoughts? You don't…"

"Kayley!" I heard someone shout behind me. "What are you doing?"

Great. Just as Ian was about to continue, Ryan had to disturb it. Wait, did Ian say he could "see" Paul's thoughts?

Having been caught in the act, I walked down the stairs with as much dignity as I could muster up at that moment. Still feeling embarrassed, I forced myself to look Paul in the eye to regain some composure. He however, did not look mad or even upset that I have eavesdropped on his conversation. Instead, he was looking at me like nothing that happened before I stepped down the stairs mattered. I was slightly unnerved by his intensity, but deep down, I liked it.

"Hey." I couldn't think of anything else to say at the moment.

"Hey." It seemed neither did he.

The tension in the air was thick enough to slice, since Ian and Ryan looked like they wanted nothing more than to push Paul out the door. Before they could do such a thing however, I opened the door pushed him out myself. I followed behind of course, and slammed the door behind me. Still looking slightly dazed, Paul walked over to his car and opened the passenger door for me, shutting it behind me after I settled in.

Maybe he was upset that I was eavesdropping. I looked over to him, but didn't dare meet this eye. His hands were on the stirring wheel, but he made no move to turn on the ignition. I finally pulled my eyes upward, only to find that he was staring back at me. There was a twinkle in his eye, like he was looking at something he adored. But I couldn't be what caused that emotion. After all, he just wanted to be friends.

I tried not to blush, but failed miserably. So, I tried not to look away from his eyes.

"Is there something wrong?" I finally managed to say. I wanted to smack myself as I heard the slight quiver in my voice.

"No, nothing is wrong. You just…you look beautiful today." He suddenly looked away from me as he mumbled the last part. He said it so softly that I would've missed it if I wasn't listening so closely to his every word.

I smiled lightly, trying to suppress a wider smile that might give away that I have heard the latter sentence.

"So, what do you have planned?" Since the day he asked me to make sure I was free today, he has been excited about his surprise. I was too.

"You will see once we get there." The uncomfortable moment finally passed, and he turned on the ignition.

The uneasiness felt back at home faded as we chatted. Finally, Paul slowed and parked in the drive way of a grey house. He stepped out of the car quickly, making it to the passenger side before I could even unbuckle my seatbelt.

"This is my house." Paul opened the front door and held it open.

I was not expecting this. Usually, we would hangout at public places like the seaside restaurant or stroll on the streets. Needless to say, I was excited to see Paul's home. Was he neat? What posters were up on his wall? Did he have pets?

I stepped in quickly, taking a survey around me. He led me to the living room, and stood aside, his hand rubbing the back of his neck like a nervous gesture.

"I tried to clean up…but living with Jared, you have to understand that it's hard."

"No, this place isn't so bad considering two males live in it." I teased.

He smiled in return and started to walk towards the staircase. I followed behind, wondering whether he would show me his bedroom…

As we walked up the stairs, I realized that my wish was going to come true. He opened the door to a room that could only be his. The car posters (typical), and dark wall and curtain colours resonated Paul.

He was standing at the door, looking rather anxious. I felt his eyes on me as I moved around the room, surveying this and that. Finally, I looked back at him and smiled. He returned it naturally, and relaxed, as if my smile was the approval he was seeking for.

I pointed to the wood carvings he has tacked onto the wall. One was the face of a wolf in a dark brown wood piece, and the other a whale. "These are amazing, did you carve them?"

He nodded and finally stepped into his room.

"I was thinking that maybe we could do some woodcarving today. I remember you like to paint, so I thought that maybe you would like to explore carving too?" He trailed off, sounding like he wasn't sure it was the greatest idea anymore.

"That sounds like so much fun. Let's do it!" I responded with enthusiasm not only to reassure him, but because I was genuinely excited.

He gave me a smile so wide, his pristine teeth shone against his russet skin.

"Alright, here, take this seat."

He had already set out the tools and wood pieces on a small table. I moved to take one of the seats next to it and he did likewise.

"What would you like to carve?"

I looked around a bit for inspiration, and my eyes fell upon the wolf carving I saw earlier.

"Hm, how about the wolf? That seems really complicated, but I like a challenge!" I smirked proudly.

He looked taken a back for a second, but suddenly returned to himself and smiled like he had a secret.

"What?" I asked curiously.

"Oh, nothing, just smiling cause it's a good choice."

He handed me a small piece of food to practice some basic carving techniques first. Wood carving is definitely more challenging than painting, since one wrong cut could not be as easily mended just by another dab of paint.

After a few minutes of practicing, we got down to the real deal. He handed me another piece of wood and gave me careful instructions on how to begin. He carved on his piece, and I followed.

Soon, the wolf's face was taking form. Obviously, I mean to say that Paul's wolf face was taking form. Mine…let's just say I will need plenty of practice. Paul was looking at my wood and trying, very sweetly, not to laugh. I didn't mind really, and was enthusiastically carving off a huge chunk when the knife slipped and cut the palm of my left hand. I yelped loudly as blood started surfacing through the line.

"Ah! Kayley, are you alright?" Panic was evident in Paul's voice as he rushed to my side, dropping his wood piece on the floor.

"Yea, I'm fine, just a little cut."

"Just a little cut? Kayley, you're bleeding!" He grabbed my hand roughly, but not so rough that it hurt, and held it for his inspection. His looked a cross between horrified, pained and like he wanted nothing more than to die. Which is plain weird, because it was just a small cut.

"That's what happens when you cut yourself Paul. Seriously, it's alright." As the blood continued to seep through and started snaking down my hand, his face increased in horror.

"But you could bleed to death! You could get an infection!" He lowered then, and swept me up bridal style walking towards what I assume to me the bathroom.

He looked so pain that I couldn't even speak. I was trying to grasp why he looked more in pain than me.

"Stupid…thought wood carving was a good idea. What the hell was I thinking…" He muttered angrily under his breath.

I finally found my voice.

"Paul! Stop looking like the world is ending. A bandage will do the trick."

Looking unconvinced, he propped me up on the counter next to the sink and started wetting a towel. In the gentlest manner, surprising for a guy as huge as Paul, he began slowly dabbing along the cut.

The cut was actually pretty deep, but I wasn't about to tell him so he can freak out some more. I tried not to wince, but couldn't help it when he hit an area where the cut was particularly deep.

"Sorry! Does it hurt a lot? Damn, why am I so rough! Should I take you to the hospital?" He looked up at me with panicked concern.

"No. Now calm down. It's a wound, of course it hurts. Do you have bandages and…?" He rushed away in a blur only to return before I even finished my sentence. In his hand was a first aid kit, which he immediately opened. Handing me the bandages with a solemn expression which I couldn't wipe off no matter how much reassurance I was giving him. I decided to ignore it for now.

Like a practiced nurse, I cleaned the cut and bandaged it in a matter of minutes. He stared at me with questioning eyes.

"What? I get cut up a lot since I grew up playing with boys." No one has ever been that concerned with me getting occasional cuts before, so his concern was very odd to me.

He started shivering violently again, which I now know to interpret as anger. Angry at who and what I wasn't sure, but I wasn't about to let my accident ruin today. I laid my uncut hand on his arm. He stopped shivering, but his eyes when he looked up were still pained.

"Paul, I'm really really ok. Don't be such a worry wart. I mean, people get cuts all the time." I smiled, trying to urge one from him too.

"Yea, other people get cuts all the time, but you should always be perfectly unharmed. I can't believe I thought wood carving was a good idea. I'm such a pathetic excuse of a human being." He looked at my hand, looking like he wanted nothing more than to hold it, but also like he didn't deserve to.

Now, I could perfectly understand that he was sorry I got hurt, but to feel that he was a "pathetic excuse of a human being"? Isn't that a little bit…overdue?

"Hm…I really don't see why you're so worried. And stop blaming yourself, it's not your fault I was clumsy and carved my hand instead of the wood." I threw in a laugh for good measure. Good measure? Bad measure. Paul did not look amused.

I sighed. This was getting way too much. I made to jump off the counter, which I was still sitting one, but couldn't since he was still standing in front of me. Sensing my movement, he picked me up again and set me down slowly onto the floor. His shoulders were hunched and he looked completely defeated.

I honestly didn't know what to do. He is acting like one of my limbs got amputated. Is Paul always so intense towards his friends? How is he going to react when he founds about my condition?

On one hand, it is kind of sweet he is so worried about my little cut. But he is seriously exaggerating it. Still having no clue what to do, I spontaneously wrapped my arms around his waist and looked up.

"Stop it Paul. I'm fine. Now wipe that frown off your face!" I tried to use the commanding voice that I pull out whenever I try to have my say with my family.

After a huge sigh, his eyes softened and began to regain some of the twinkle it held before. He reached down and gently tucked a piece of hair behind my ears.

I could've stayed there forever, but the rational Kayley voice was beginning a riot in my mind. I let go of him and made to step out of the bathroom. He looked a bit disappointed, but followed me out. I made my way towards the table again, thinking to resume the carving, but one stern look from him told me that it wasn't what he wanted me to do right now.

"Where would human civilization be if we gave up after one failure?" I challenged.

"Kayley, I swear, if you cut yourself another time I will flip out! Let's just do something else. Like talk, or watch TV, or take a walk…no, wait, it's too cold outside, you might catch a cold…"

"Wow, you sound like a hypochondriac."

"I'm not. I could care less if I get the cold, it's you that I'm worried about."

I couldn't help but blush. That was kind of sweet. Paul seemed fine however, like he was dead serious about everything he has said and would gladly put his life before mine.

"All the things you picked out require no movement at all. I'm afraid if every time we hang out, all we do is watch TV and talk, I will become obese." I remarked sarcastically.

"That's not true. You need to move your mouth when you talk, and you need to flip the channels with your fingers when you watch TV." He replied cleverly, with a smirk replacing the frown on his lips.

Yay, happy Paul is back.

"And I guess there is always the blinking huh? Geez, you're right, what was I thinking."

He finally laughed, and we spent the rest of the day doing just that. Watching TV, talking and blinking.