Searching for a Soulmate: Part 5 - the Finale ...

1. Mike's Point of View

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An hour ago, I had punched a stranger in the face, only to have him hit me back smack dab in the eye. The brawl hadn't lasted much longer than that, because Mandy had pushed between us and dragged me the hell out of there.

Now, she was staring at me in the same way she used to stare at her precious tattoo. She held an icepack in her hand, resting it against my bruised, black eye.

"You should've let me kill him," I said, scratching my nails against her bedsheets. "You don't deserve that kind of treatment. From anyone."

There was a pause. Then her lips curled into an embarrassed little smirk. "About that..."

"Are you kidding me?" I just stared at her, wondering if she meant what I thought she meant. "Why the hell would you lie about him trying to kiss you?"

"I thought it would be funny."

I shoved her hand away, causing the icepack to fall to the floor. "I'm serious, Mandy. What the hell?"

This time, she bit her lip while she looked down at her high heeled feet. "I chickened out. The needle looked scary. I thought it would hurt to get the design removed, so..."

"So you lied to me about? Since when do we lie to each other?" It didn't matter that the damn designs were meant to bring us together, because it felt like they were only driving us apart.

She rolled her eyes, like I was the one making zero sense. Then she sighed, took a step forward, stopped herself, and sighed again.

I was about to ask her what the hell her problem was when she curled her fingers around my shoulders, leaned down, and pressed her lips against mine.

The peck was quick, too quick to feel any sparks or fireworks. That's why I tilted my head, trying to get the best view of her wide eyes and red tinted cheeks, and then let our lips crash together once again.

That kiss lasted longer. The awkward puckering of our mouths turned into a rhythmic swirling of our tongues. She climbed onto my lap to straddle me, and moved her hands to my face, pushing me as close to her as possible. I placed my hands on the outside of her thighs, my thumbs digging into her petite waist.

When she pulled away, no words left my mouth. There weren't even any words fumbling around in my head. All I could do was bask in the moment. The moment the love of my life finally came around to kissing me.

"So... yeah," she said, nervously pushing a strand of hair behind her ear. "The real reason I left that place was because I thought maybe... Maybe the designs were right. Maybe we would work as a couple after all."

She bit down on her lip before continuing, "But after that kiss... You can forget about the maybes. We're definitely going to work." She let out a little laugh as she stopped playing with her hair and started running her fingers through mine. "You're an amazing kisser, you know that?"

My smile would've reached my ears if it could. Even though my mind could finally muster up a few different things to say, the phrase I settled on was, "I love you."

She just stared, her glossy lips slightly ajar, her pupils darting from my eyes to my mouth. I could see happiness hiding beneath her confusion.

But I didn't want to scare her off as soon as she decided to give me a chance, so I grabbed her hands and said, "I know you're not ready to say it back yet, but I thought you should know. The design didn't tell me how to feel about you. I've always felt this way."

She responded with another kiss, directly on my forehead. It was a relief to finally tell her how I felt, even though it wasn't time for her to say the words back yet. I didn't mind. I knew I'd hear them soon enough.

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