Author: Puer.Scriptor PM
Contains M/M. Amy Leonard has a habit of sleeping with a guy and then sneaking away the next morning while they're still asleep. Guys following up has never been a problem, but when she lets her real name slip and Zach can't get her out of his mind, she has trouble on her hands. And he's not her only suitor...Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Humor - Chapters: 19 - Words: 62,244 - Reviews: 51 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 27 - Updated: 08-17-12 - Published: 06-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3036548
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I woke up unusually early the next morning and glanced at my bedside clock with surprise when I read '6:34' – I didn't usually open my eyes until at least half seven. That meant that I had an extra hour to kill before I went to Holly's room at eight thirty like I did every day. I suppose that extra hour could be made up by staying in bed a bit longer, spending more time in the shower and putting my make-up on more slowly. This plan half worked and by eight o'clock I was ready and paced my room wondering what I was going to do for twenty minutes. Surely Holly would be ready to go by now? She wouldn't mind if I came a bit early.
Being impatient as I was, I grabbed my keys and phone and left, eager to get out of my room and get some exercise. As it turned out, Holly had been ready when I got there and so we walked into town to Costa Coffee to get our usual lattes and breakfast paninis. We were well known by all the staff since we'd been coming here almost every morning since we started university and now, we didn't even have to say what we wanted – we just walked in, nodded a greeting to whoever was behind the counter and sat down in the corner on the leather sofa, knowing that our breakfast would be here in a jiffy and that it would go on our 'tabs'. The barista who brought us our breakfast today was a young guy called Sam who'd taken a gap year and was working here to bulk out his bank account and build up his student money. He was a nice lad and he often stopped to talk to us for a while, but this morning he looked considerably more melancholy than he usually did and he just delivered our food and drinks and skulked off.
'What do you think's up with Sam today?' Holly asked as he walked silently off.
'Don't know – perhaps he's realised Santa actually doesn't exist,' I replied, taking a sniff of my latte. That beautiful smell was just what I needed in the mornings.
'Don't be mean,' Holly said, hitting me lightly on the arm.
'I'm not!' I protested. 'I'm just saying – perhaps life's getting him down today.'
'It gets everyone down,' she mumbled, cutting the corner off her BLT panini.
'What's up with you?' I asked, wondering where this sudden epidemic of the blues was coming from.
'What? Nothing,' she shrugged. 'Just saying.'
'Right…anyway, how did it go last night?'
'Fine,' she sighed – that sorrow-ridden, love-sick sigh which she uttered almost every time I mentioned Freddie. 'Just watched a few films, had a popcorn fight, you know.'
'So you didn't have wild sex this time then?' I said, making a 'perhaps next time' expression.
'Shut up!' she hissed, hitting me harder on the arm.
'It honestly eludes me why you find it so difficult to say three little words. 'I like you'. There, I just said it. That wasn't that hard now was it?' Holly just concentrated hard on her panini and didn't reply. 'Actually I suppose,' I carried on, determined to get a reaction from her, 'in your case it would probably be 'I love you'.'
'Just leave it, OK?' she said desperately, waving her knife dangerously in the air. 'How did you date go last night?' she asked teasingly, trying to get me back.
'Fine,' I mumbled, turning my attention to my latte. When I looked up, Holly was narrowing her eyes at me and a grin started to spread across her face.
'Spill then,' she said excitedly. 'What happened?'
'We went out for dinner, I came home,' I shrugged.
'Did anything happen? Did he kiss you? Did you slap him? What?'
'Nothing happened!' I cried. Normally, I would reiterate my night in detail and tell her everything, but this time, I didn't feel like doing that for some reason.
'So you're never going to see him again?' she asked, her keen eyes still trained on me. When I didn't reply immediately, she laughed and leant back.
'Oh my God, you are!'
'I kind of insulted him, so I'm obliged to – to apologise.'
'Whatever! You like him!' she grinned victoriously.
'No!' I cried indignantly. 'I just can't not see him again after insulting him – it's not proper.'
'Proper my arse,' she chuckled, shaking her head. 'I'm planning your wedding,' she remarked quietly as she was about to take a sip of coffee.
'We're not getting married!' I roared, perhaps a little too loudly, for a few people around us turned to look at me. 'I don't like him,' I whispered hotly.
'OK,' she grinned and the subject was left at that. After we'd finished breakfast, we strolled back to my room and Holly threw herself onto my bed as I made my way over to the phone, the blinking red light indicating that I had a new voice message catching my eye. I pressed the Play button and stood nervously, already having a good idea of who it was.
'Hey!' Zach's voice blared happily, 'it's me, Zach. Just to let you know – because I forgot to mention – it's gonna be me and my two best mates Callum and Jay, so, you know, feel free to bring a mate along too! Or not, I don't mind. See ya later alligator!' And with that, he hung up.
'Well that sounded very matey,' Holly remarked, raising an eyebrow.
'He is a bit enthusiastic,' I replied, making face.
'Yeah, anyone would think he likes you,' she teased. I mimicked her and jumped onto the bed beside her.
'So, wanna come?' I ask casually.
'Urgh, why me?' she whined.
'Because, as it so happens, you're my best friend and I want you to come because I don't want to be alone with him and his 'best mates'.'
'Charming,' she scoffed.
'Well are you coming or not?'
'Suppose I have to,' she mumbled. 'I could be doing better things with my Sunday.'
'Like what? Snog Freddie?'
'Shutup!' she said hotly, hitting me rather violently on the leg. I apologised (although it didn't sound as sincere as it could've as I was laughing as I said it) and after some persuasion from me, she eventually grudgingly agreed to accompany me and after the matter was sorted, we didn't speak of it again and instead went to find Freddie to hang out with him. We found him, as usual, in the library and as I'd predicted, Holly proceeded to tell him all about my 'date' with Zach on Sunday. As I'd half expected however, Freddie didn't take the news too kindly and his reaction was almost the exact opposite of Holly's outright joy.
'He's forced you into it?' he asked angrily, but keeping his voice low to comply with the strict library rules.
'No, it's consensual,' I corrected, 'I said I'd go.'
'Why?' he bristled, 'you hate him?'
'I insulted him without knowing and so I can't just never talk to him again. This is an apology, if you like,' I explained.
'Who cares if you insulted him? And wouldn't saying 'sorry' have sufficed?'
'No, I insulted him badly,' I argued, becoming tired of this conversation. Moreover, I felt bad because Holly was merely stood beside us, watching this exchange in silence and I wanted to stop talking about it with Freddie because I knew Holly hate arguments.
'I don't care –'
'Well I do,' I said sharply, cutting him off.
'He's a dick; you should just be done with him.'
'Excuse me; you've never even met him,' I argued hotly. 'You don't know what he's like and you don't get to tell me who I can and can't see.'
'Oh, so he's not a dick anymore? You like him now?' Freddie sneered and I really didn't understand where his anger was coming from – what did it matter to him whether I spent Sunday with Zach?
'No,' I replied instinctively. Freddie and I stared at each other for a few seconds, daring one another to say something, but when neither of us did, I turned around and walked away, but stopped when I realised Holly wasn't beside me. I turned around to see her rooted to the spot, looking at me like a scared puppy and I knew instantly what was going on – she was debating whether to come with me, her best friend, or stay with Freddie, the love of her life. In my opinion, he didn't deserve Holly's comfort or whatever, but I couldn't be angry at her because I know how strongly she felt for him.
'I'll be fine,' I smiled softly to her, trying to convey that I really didn't mind her staying with Freddie. She gave me a small, thankful smile back and I left, wondering what I was going to do now. I decided to get started on this Maths assignment and although what we had to do was straightforward, I didn't have much enthusiasm for it and was constantly distracted by my own thoughts. After two hours' of half-hearted work on the assignment, I looked at what I'd done and, almost disgusted by the lack of its quality, I screwed all the sheets up and tossed them carelessly in the bin. I knew I should restart and give it my fill concentration so that I can get another set of full marks, but I knew deep down that I wouldn't be able to focus and so, for the first time in my life, I left the assignment and walked slowly to Tom Flynn's room on the other side of the residence building.
Tom Flynn was kind of my back-up friend and although we weren't best friends, we had that rare skill of being able to pick up where we left off even if we hadn't seen each other in weeks. No matter what happened or how long we didn't see each other for, we were on constant matey terms and he was so extroverted and easy to get along with that hardly any effort was required in being friends with him. For that reason, he was friends with an impossible and ridiculous amount of people – I'd never known someone to actually have hundreds of friends, but somehow, Tom managed to pull it off – and with annoying effortlessness. If you walked through town with him, almost every second person you passed would either say or receive a friendly 'Hey!' and it seemed that every shop owner, bartender, waiter and waitress was Tom's best friend. He was even on first-name terms with practically all the college tutors, lecturers and professors, even though most of them didn't even work in the same department as him (Art History). I think it would be safe to say that out of the whole population of the university and surrounding town, about seventy-five per cent of people knew Tom on a personal basis. He truly was a social animal.
And you might think that that would make me feel invaluable as his friend since he has so many, but that was far from the truth. He'd informed me (shortly after we first met) that I was 'a lucky person' and that I was one of the 'few' – a member of the hundred or so people who qualified as his close friends.
The only difficulty with Tom was getting hold of him and finding him, since at any given time, he was either at some party or other, at a friend's or with his girlfriend - a quiet, frail-looking girl who went by the equally frail-sounding name of Lily. It was a mystery to everyone what bought these two together because Lily was so shy and hardly the social animal that Tom was. But, everyone had accepted the match eventually and had settled for the reason that there must be some pretty strong underlying emotions between the two, since they were very rarely seen apart and seemed to know each other scarily well.
However, it was a Saturday afternoon which was notoriously the winding-down time of the week where everyone was either gearing up for Saturday night celebrations (whatever they may be), doing work or just relaxing and I took a wild guess that Tom might be in his room relaxing and escaping his multitude of friends.
Because of his high demand, he'd taken to fitting a whiteboard to the outside of his door to inform people of his whereabouts and as I approached his room, I saw to my relief 'In' scrawled on the board. His statuses of whereabouts were well-known throughout the college and there were usually three main variations – 'In', 'In – with L' and 'Out – leave a message'. For this last one – inevitably the most common – he wrote his phone number underneath so that anyone wishing to drop him a line could. I expect that on times such as these, he came home to at least twenty voice messages.
Now though, since his status was just 'In' I didn't have to worry about Lily being there and so I knocked hopefully on his door.
A few seconds later, a bright and cheery Tom opened the door and greeted me with an exuberant 'Hey!' before stepping forward and engulfing me in his famous bear hug.
'Hey,' I chuckled, into his shoulder, loving the feeling of a good hug right now and wrapping my arms around his broad back.
'You alright, chicken?' he asked, pulling me back by the shoulders and looking me in the eyes.
'Kinda,' I shrugged with an 'it doesn't matter' smile, but, of course, Tom wasn't having any of that.
'Spill ze beans to Uncle Tom, young lady,' he said, closing the door and sitting on his bed, patting the space beside him. I sat beside him, sinking into his gorgeous mattress and told him everything about Zach, Holly and Freddie and not once did he interrupt – he merely sat there stroking his chin and looking contemplative the whole time. For a guy, he was a magical listener.
When I'd finished my tale of woes and tribulations, he brought me into a hug and started to sing The Galaxy Song to me.
'Whenever you're feeling down, Mrs Brown, and things seem hard or tough…and people are stupid, obnoxious or daft, and you feel that you've had quite enough…' And I let him sing the whole thing to me even though he was tone deaf and by the end of it, I was smiling like an idiot and felt much better. The main job to cheer me up now complete, we talked of other things – mainly Tom's latest escapades and parties with his friends which I loved hearing about because some of them were so wacky and interesting. I keep telling him that if he wrote an autobiography, it would undoubtedly be a best-seller.
As he told me about his most recent party which involved a man in a carrot suit, a fish tank and jelly, I spotted his corkboard on the adjacent wall which was unsurprisingly crammed full of stuff; but what grabbed my attention was the amount of party invitations stuck to it – there must have been at least fifteen invites and I thought about how I get invited to about three every year.
'Are those all the parties you've been invited to this year?' I asked, nodding towards the board.
'Oh no,' he laughed, shaking his head, 'this month.' My jaw dropped and I stared at him with incredulity.
'What do you do if there's two on the same night?'
'Go to one for a few hours and then the other for a few hours,' he shrugged, as if it were a common occurrence. 'Anyway, that's nothing. I once had four on the same night,' he said, making a face.
'What did you do?'
'Conference call on Skype between them all,' he grinned. Of course. How else would anyone do it?
We spent the rest of the afternoon fooling around – doing a bit of imaginative baking, prank calling some of his numerous friends and heading into town for a late lunch/early dinner at a sparsely-populated café. After that, we then parted ways – me going back to my room and him going to meet Lily and then onto a party.
'Have fun tomorrow,' he said as he gave me farewell bear hug. 'Just think about you and no one else.'
'Thanks. You have a good time tonight.'
'I shall,' he grinned and he gave me one last hug before we walked away in opposite directions. It was four o'clock now and I rang Holly to see whether she wanted to do anything this evening.
'Hey,' she answered unenthusiastically.
'Hey, what's up?'
'Nothing,' she sighed.
'Tell me. Is it something to do with Freddie?' I asked, making an educated guess.
'Yeah…he was just quiet and miserable for the whole afternoon. I don't think he wanted me around.' I could tell she was quite upset and I was angry at Freddie for neglecting her like this – he was angry at me and he shouldn't take it out on Holly – she was only trying to be a friend.
'Well he's being immature and silly, so don't worry about it. It wasn't you – he's in a strop with me.
'Why does he care so much?' she grumbled. 'I don't mean it like that,' she hurriedly added.
'No, I know what you mean,' I agreed. 'He's getting on my nerves. But hopefully it'll blow over soon.'
'Yeah, I mean you're not going to see Zach after tomorrow are you? You know, because tomorrow's just an apology.
'You're not going to see him again are you?'
'No, course not, why would I?' I laughed.
'You wanna do something this evening?'
'I've got a tonne of books to get through for the next assignment, so I should probably do that,' she sighed.
'Oh…OK. Well see you tomorrow. Come to mine at ten, OK?'
'OK, see ya tomorrow.'
'Love you too,' she said quietly and then hung up.
Wow, Freddie had really brought her down. But I wasn't in the mood to confront him right now, so I went back to my room and killed time before going to bed early out of boredom. Besides, I had to think about what to wear tomorrow.
AN: Thanks for reading this and I hoped you liked this chapter. Please review :)