It's been one month since he first met Inoue. She was an extremely kind woman who seemed a bit naïve. Every time he saw her outside doing yard work or sitting on the front porch. They'd have small talk. But, the strawberry blonde didn't mind.

"Hey, Kurosaki-Kun. How are you today?" She smiled brightly at him.

Ichigo smiled slightly before answering her. "Not too bad until a damn dog bit me while delivering mail." His smile turned to a frown once he remembered the incident.

The gentle lady gasped. "Does it hurt?"

"Just a little but, there's nothing to worry about." He handed over some of her mail.

"I can treat your wound."

"No thanks." Ichigo said stubbornly.

"Let me help."

"Alright, if you say so."

She motioned him to come inside and sit on her couch when she went in her room to get her first aid kit. Her house reminded him of an old country home. Her furniture was very quaint including the table set in her open concept kitchen. There were also a few Christmas decorations. Orihime came back quickly with the kit. She placed some of the things on the coffee table and sat beside her new friend. "Where exactly did the dog bite you?"

"My arm."

The red head examined the bite, it wasn't so deep. It looked like a little dog bit him because the teeth marks were small. "Was it a tiny dog that bite you?" She asked seriously. She was glad his injury was minor.

"Yes it was a Chihuahua." The man felt somewhat embarrassed that he allowed a small dog to bite him. Maybe he should've paid more attention. That dog always barked at him. He could tell that stupid ass dog didn't like him. Ichigo was never bitten by him until today. He was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn't realize she was finished.

"All done." Orihime stated proudly.

Kurosaki stared down at his lightly bandaged arm before refocusing his attention to her. "Thanks." He gazed at the woman for a moment. "She's beautiful and helpful." The brown eyed man blushed at the thought.

"You're welcome."

"How did you know what to do?"

"My mom used to be a nurse. She taught me a few things." She held her head down. You could see the sadness radiating of her.

"So, are you a nurse too?"

"No, I own a bakery though it's called Honey Pie."

"That's great but, why are you sad? Do you still talk to your mom?" Kurosaki became nervous. Maybe something bad happened.

"No, my mom's dead. She died a few years ago." Orihime let the tears fall from her face.

"Sorry to hear that. How did she die?" Ichigo asked curiously. He felt sadness after she answered him.

"Brain cancer."

"What about the rest of your family?"

"My dad and brother are dead too. My dad and brother was killed in a car accident a year after my mom died. I only know of one family member. My long lost aunt lives far away so I don't see her much." All those memories together made it unbearable for the kind lady.

"Damn it, every time I say something it makes her cry more. No one deserves all the pain she endured. And, I thought it was bad when my mother died. That itself was painful enough." He said to himself. He wasn't sure of what he should do. Ichigo's not exactly the emotional type. He hated seeing people cry especially women. The next thing the blonde did surprised even him. Kurosaki wrapped his arms around her small frame. Orihime was shocked but, accepted the hug. "It's okay to cry. Me and my family felt the same way when my mother died. But, you've been through much worse. But, don't let it get you down." Something about holding Orihime felt right to him, like it was meant to be. She secretly felt the same way but tried to ignore it. She wiped the tears from her eyes once he released her.

"I'm so sorry about that. I'm being a crybaby right now." The gray eyed woman apologized.

"It's not a problem."

Her eyes focused on his. Her heart raced when his face moved closer to hers. Now their faces were only a few inches apart. Then his phone rung. Who could possibly be calling him now? He cursed whoever interrupted him.

"Are you going to answer that?" She was a little disappointed that his phone rung. But, relieved at the same time. Both of their cheeks were tinted pink from the almost kiss.

"Hell no, I'm still on my route. They should know not to call me at this time." Ichigo explained in a irritable tone.

"Kurosaki-Kun, you should answer it. What if it was an emergency?"

"Don't worry it's not. I'll be heading out now." He stood up from his seat.

"Would you like a turkey sandwich? I was about to make one."

"No, I . . . Why not?" He changed his mind and sat back down.

"What do you want on your sandwich?"

"Um. Some swiss cheese and avocado. Did you just make a turkey? It smells good in here?"

"Yep, it's turkey breast. I started before you arrived. I saw this on the cooking channel."

"Isn't it a bit extreme to cook a turkey just to make a sandwich with it? You can just buy it a the grocery store already cooked in a package."

"Nope. This is a lot more fun. You can go wash your hands, the turkey is ready. Your sandwich will be done soon." She commanded already slicing some of the meat.

"Where's the bathroom?"

"Over to your left down the hall."

His plate was placed on the table once he returned. "That was fast." He commented.

"Would you like some lemonade?"

"Sure." He smiled brightly at Orihime. "Thanks again Inoue."

"No thanks needed Kurosaki-Kun." Once she was done she sat across from him at the table.

"This is good. What did you put on your sandwich?"

"Red bean paste. You should try it sometime."

"No . . . thanks." The man paused in between his answer.

The two adults talked while eating the rest of there lunch. It was nice having someone to eat with instead of eating alone. That was another thing they have in common. He asked for a refill of lemonade before leaving her house.

"That was a good lunch." He got into his truck. Ichigo remembered that one of his idiot friends called him during his work hours. The man looked through his cell phone and called them back.

"Hello. A soft voice answered.

"Why the hell did you call me while I'm still on my route? I have a job you know." The irritation was evident in his tone.

"Shut up you idiot. I was going to ask you if you wanted to come to our Christmas party next week?" Rukia asked.

"I don't know. I'm not really into parties."

"It's not like you'll have anything else to do. You're not exactly a socialite."

"I don't think I can make it?" He wished she would let it go already.

"Your family will be there."

"Well, that's definitely a no with my insane father."

"Can you please come? You need a break and we're worried about you. You're always alone." The brunette stated sadly.

"Alright, I'll come."

"Are you bringing anyone to the party?" She replied.

"No. Why did you ask?" Ichigo grimaced a bit unsure about his friend's intentions.

"No reason."

"She's trying to set you up on a with one of her co-workers. Another person shouted out.

"Shut your pie hole Renji. You're going to ruin my plans."

"Is Renji telling the truth? Please don't set me up with anyone Rukia. I'm fine on my own." He complained.

"Damn it, Ichigo you don't have to marry her. I'll just introduce you two."

"Okay. What day is the party?"

"5pm on Christmas day."

"See you than, bye."


He hung up his phone and started up the truck." The man stared at Orihime's house one last time before leaving.

Maybe there was someone he wanted to invite to the party.




A/N: Sorry I took so long to update this story. I had a minor case of writer's block with this fic. I also decided to make this a three-shot story. I'd like to thank: Chilled Chaos, FireCat and SnowWhite, Renee Tanaka and Magdalena88 for your reviews and everyone else who read, followed and faved this story. Check out my new fanfic titled Self Indulgence.

Chilled Chaos: I'll try to update faster.

FireCat and SnowWhite: Thanks.

Renee Tanaka: I'm glad you enjoyed my first chapter. I tried to keep them in character.

Magdalena88: They are the same age in this story. Their ages are only different in one of my fics.