I sighed, knowing that since I was in this predicament I would just have to make the best of it. After a moment of thought, I sighed again and recited my chosen number.
Snickers and giggles followed. I turned around to see all of them trying to hold in their laughter.
All except one, who had a deep red blush on his face.
Gilbert stepped to my side and placed his hand on my shoulder. “I’m so sorry, Fräu,” he said, laughing away.
I blinked at the man I had presumably picked. His face was red, his light blue eyes downcast, and every now and again he would glare at the people beside him, who would then shut up only until he turned his head away. His embarrassment was obvious in his features as he walked toward me. However, it didn’t seem like he was embarrassed because I picked him, but rather that he was flustered from having to deal with everyone’s crap.
When he was only a few feet from my seat, he cleared his throat. “H-Hallo, _____,” he muttered through his fist.
I smiled. “Hey, Ludwig.”
Beside us, Gilbert cackled. “Well, then. Off to your date~!” He then took both of our hands and dragged out of the house and onto the front porch, where he slammed the door to leave us alone.
I sighed, running my fingers momentarily through my hair. “So, where are we going?”
Ludwig mirrored my action, pushing the loose strands of his golden blond hair back. Then he paused, looking at me as he thought. “Is. . .Is my house alright?”
I blinked, then raised an eyebrow. “As long as you don’t get all French on me, it’s fine.”
He chuckled sheepishly, causing me to smile. “J-Ja,” he said, scratching the back of his head.
I stepped inside the house as Ludwig held the door open for me. I had been here many times before, but it was different now. I wasn’t just visiting this time. I was actually on a date.
Man, was that weird to say.
“Since we are on a date, I don’t think the others will be bothering us,” said Ludwig. The way he said “date” sounded incredibly awkward and, quite frankly, a bit unfitting. I don’t know. I guess it was just because he never seemed like the type of person who would go off on a date on a whim. Not like his brother.
I nodded, letting out a brief, “Okay,” as we made our way to the living room. As I usually did, I plopped down on the more comfortable couch and kicked my shoes off. I brought feet up and sat criss-cross. “So, what now?”
Ludwig nodded nervously. “R-Right. Well, I was making dinner when mein bruder dragged me out of here to that place. It should be ready by now, though.”
I smiled. “Okay.”
So, we decided to eat in the living room, and then I talked him into watching a movie. Alfred had been kind enough the week before to lend me his copy of Alien, so we agreed on that. We were actually a little more than half an hour into the movie when Ludwig suddenly asked me, “Are you sure this isn’t too scary for you?”
I raised an eyebrow at him, then snorted. “Are you kidding? This movie isn’t scary at all. It’s just––”
A loud thud pounded from the TV, and I jumped back screaming. I looked back at the screen to see the characters searching for the alien, and one of them had accidentally tipped over a large box, which made the noise. I sighed, my hand over my slightly heaving chest. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Ludwig––what was that? He was grinning? When was the last time I had seen him make that face?
I glared at him, but I couldn’t help but smile inside. “It’s just that one part. That one thing where it’s all quiet and then Boom! They just gotta go and freak us out with an accident, don’t they?!”
I blinked when I heard a noise coming from him. The grin on his face had morphed into a full-blown smile, and he had his hand over his mouth to hide it. He laughed quietly. “Oh, _____,” he said, still chuckling. “Are you afraid of this movie?”
My glare became more prominent. “No! It’s just that no matter how many times I’ve seen this movie, that stupid box getting knocked over always scares the living crap out of me!”
He laughed louder, then did something that I had not expected him to do: He wrapped his arms around me affectionately. Protectively. “Don’t worry,” he whispered. “I’ll protect you.”
I could very easily feel my face heating up as he held me. “I don’t need protecting,” I said. Then I smiled and nuzzled his neck. “But thanks anyway.”
He smiled once again. “Bitte, schatz.”