Drama Drama Drama!

Later that evening

Laurel's Point of View

"So boys and girls what's the plan for this evening?" I ask looking around the room at my four closet friends all lounging on various pieces of furniture in a variety of positions.

"We are going out," Danny replies, not really taking his eyes of the screen we have been watching the "Breakfast Club" from the lack of anything else to do.

I can't help the mischief that runs through my mind, and lucky as nobody is watching me, it goes undetected. I grin broadly seizing the opportunity to get Danny flustered.

"Awe Danny honey, really? Where are you going to take me?" I bat my eyelashes for effect and twirl my hair around my forefinger.

"No, I mean, I didn't mean you... Uhh" he pauses and clears his throat, his eyes darting around the room.

"I mean not that there's anything wrong with you, it's just that umm... I meant I was going to take Aimee out, just the two of us," he rushes through the sentence.

I can see Aimee smile reassuringly at him before I burst out laughing, shortly followed by Max and Angel. I can see Aimee trying to keep a straight face, but she can't help the little giggle that escapes, (Same goes for here) soon all of us are laughing.

"Breath Danny breath, I was just playing."

"Ya, you're a real riot." He smiles to show he has no hard feelings.

"So, now we know what two of us are doing. What about the rest of you three?" Aimee questions.

"Two, I'm going out too." Max answers promptly.

"Where you going" Angel asks curiosity getting the better of her almost instantly.

"Out."

"Where out?!" She questions again.

"Out, out. You know the opposite of in?" He responds sarcastically throwing a pillow at her.

"Fine, be like that your royal stoic-ness," she stands and curtsey's before rolling her eyes and walking over to the couch Aimee and I were sitting on and taking the seat in the middle.

I look over at Max and see him roll his eyes at her before grinning and getting a glint in his eye. I've seen it once before and I catch his eye, making sure he knows that I've seen it. It's a lot like the look I had earlier when I was looking at Danny and I stand and make my excuses, to grant him access to play whatever the prank he was planning.

"I want some ice tea, anyone want anything?" I question rising from my seat and sending a smile to Max.

I'll have some ice tea too please," he agrees and so does everybody else and as I move I notice that Danny has taken my seat faster than Max could get there and I roll my eyes.

Oh well only one thing for it.

"Aimeeeee!" I whine.

"Whhhaaaat?!" She calls out in the same tone.

"I need help." I pout as she turns around to look at me and she laughs rising, and walking over to me.

"I know, but I don't think I can give you that kind of help," she teases as we walk to the kitchen.

"Gee, love ya too."

We were just about to take the glasses out in to the room again when we heard her shriek. It turns out Danny was in on the plot and both males were tickling her.

Sometimes it's just too much fun to be immature I guess.

Later still

"Angel?"

"Yes?" She looks up from the T.V we've been watching reruns of "Friends" since we were left to our own devices. She smiles to let me know I should continue that she is listening.

"You know the other night?" I pause as I notice that her face indicates that she has no recollection of the night I am talking about, so I continue. "You know, when you were talking about Alexis, and Aimee and I were telling you it was ok that you liked him?"

She looks down as I finish my sentence and I notice she has a sudden fascination with her feet. The embarrassment she felt or feels at the memory evident in the crimson that now flushes her face.

"Yeah I remember. What about it?" She questions quietly after a few moments.

"Well I was wondering umm..." I pause not sure about what I'm doing, but not knowing what else to do. "What exactly is it that you feel?" I finish and meet her eyes.

I notice her confusion and I try to make my question clearer. "I mean is it lust? A crush you never really got over? Love?" I finish and clear my throat looking in every direction but at her.

Unsure that I can trust myself in the moment, I can't look at her and keep that big of a secret from her. She'd spot it faster than I could finish a sentence; and this is an area I think I should leave well alone. It's not my place to tell her. Not really. I've been arguing with my conscience all afternoon and decided, I won't tell her what I heard but I'll do everything in my power to make them realize what they have together. Well that's the plan.

"Umm..." she trails off flabbergasted at the turn the evening has taken. She looks up suddenly and looks at me. "God this is so embarrassing!" she exclaims. I offer her a rueful smile.

"I don't know. I mean it's not like we've ever been together but I mean I do have some strong feelings for him." She finishes and looks away mixed emotions in her eyes.

"Strong feelings? You mean that other people might label oh, I don't know... love?"

"You know he's done stuff he isn't proud of. I remember when we were little, when his friends weren't all with him, we'd have so much fun. He showed me how to climb trees and we'd play, and when he was in trouble we'd hide in the tree house."

"The tree house?" I can't help but interrupt.

"Yeah, you know a house that's in a tree," she sticks her tongue out and I roll my eyes.

"Dumb ass."

"Stupid ass," she retorts.

"What tree house?"

"The one Poppa Paul built in the tree in their yard."

"Oh, ok. Sorry for interrupting please carry on."

"You know it's weird, like I said he's done stuff he isn't proud of, and he's0 apologized and tried to make things better. Even when he left like that," she looks lost for a second as the memories flash in her eyes. That's the one thing that hasn't changed in all the time I've known her. Her emotions have always shown clearly. Her thought and memories seem to show themselves to you before she has even opened her mouth to speak.

She clears her throat then continues, "Even when he left, I never stopped caring. I used to ask my parents about him and I'd talk to Momma Lynn about him. You know, when I first came to New York, I wrote letters for a while... about everything. About the city, the dance mentors, the apartment, and you guys. I think I sent them to Momma Lynn. I wonder what happened to those. I hope she didn't give them to him. Maybe if I'm really lucky they got lost in the mail." She smiles a small smile at me.

"You didn't keep doing that though, because I don't remember you writing much."

She shakes her head, "I stopped just over 3 months after I'd been in the City. I'd never got a response, and I just couldn't write anymore. I didn't know what to say especially after the last letter I had sent, that didn't get a response back.ン

"Why the last letter? I mean if you don't mind me asking" she looks at me and smiles and dismisses the thought with a wave of her hand.

"No I don't mind, it was about him."

"The letters stopped being written but you didn't stop caring though did you?"

"I couldn't, well maybe I didn't want to, and I don't know I just couldn't."

"But you dated Max..." I trail off, not knowing what I'm doing or where that thought came from.

"Max, Max is a great guy and he was interested in me. I couldn't believe it; this stunning guy interested in me, plain little old me. And Danny, my God I had guy friends who didn't tease me about being a tom boy, or the clothes I wore. I was so happy, and thoughts of Lex dimmed."

"But didn't"

"I don't think they ever will," she mumbles but I heard it anyway.

I nod solemnly so she does love him. Interesting, she just isn't prepared to admit it out loud. And he loves her, but won't tell her. How the hell am I gonna fix this?

"It's all very strange, I know. You can laugh you know, I know you want to!" she says after looking at me and seeing me deep in thoughts

"Huh? No I don't want to laugh, it's just, it's so weird, I mean there's this guy you've loved forever, before you even knew what love was, but you can't have him. Then there's me. Who's never believed in love, but who is having her whole belief system upturned by a guy she's known for what just over a couple of weeks?" I stop and stare at her as the words leave my mouth and register in my head. I know it's not something I've said to change the topic. I actually see myself wanting to spend more and more time with him. I meet her eyes and she grins at me before jumping up and hugging me.

"I knew it! Ohh, I win!" She then clamps her mouth shut.

"Win?" I question intrigued.

"Umm..." she says.

I quirk an eyebrow at her, "umm..." I repeat and throw a cushion from the couch at her.

"How much, and who bet against you?"

"Me no speak English, sorry ma'am," she says in a very strange accent. A cross between French and Indian and hides her face behind the cushion I had just thrown.

"Oh child, I'll give you no speak English!" Then proceed to throw every cushion I can find at her, laughing as she throws them back. Eventually we tire and fall back on to the couch. As we do the laughter subsides and the mood once again turns sombre. She looks at me then, and for once her face is unreadable.

"Why do you ask?" I know what she is referring to and I fleetingly wonder if it's worth trying to deny it. Deciding it's not. I answer, "I don't really know, I just wondered is all." Close enough to the truth.

"You just wondered what?"

"You know, what your feelings were exactly. I mean I know you care for him, but you've never said anything else." What? What exactly am I saying? I'm stupid I think to myself as I register the words leaving my mouth, what is wrong with me?

"Right, ok then" she looks confused for a second then changes the topic. "You know this movie is various shades of dull with hints of 'I'ma-kill-myself-from-sheer-boredom'. So any suggestions on what to do now?"

"Well no," I answer.

"We could go and see James?" She throws me a sideways look.

I've already seen him today."

"So?"

"So twice in one day might seem a bit keen. You know bunny boiler alert!"

She laughs a little before continuing, "Hardly, I'm guessing that's were you disappeared to earlier. It wasn't like you spent the whole day with him and anyway, I want to talk to him. So you're only technically going to be there because I couldn't bring myself to abandon you all on your lonesome in the house."

"And that's our story and we are sticking to it?!" I add.

"I wouldn't have it any other way."

"Well lead on then Obi Wan."

'Did you know he dies in the movie? Are you trying to say you want me dead?"

"Never dear never. But before we go there I really want a frappachino."

"Ok, we'll hit Starbucks and then go find him."

"Right, let's go then." I nod and follow her out of the house and into the car.

"Dude a frappachino? How old are you?" Tom mocks Clay.

"Shuddup! It's hot out and this is icy and refreshing."

"Yeah right!"

"Get a grip! Can we talk about something else now?!"

"Sure, so Lex, tell us man, have you heard anymore from the recruiters at Glenndale?"

"Oh please, not this talk again. I'm so sick of hearing about Glenndale!" Comes the whine from Eve.

"What is your problem Eve?"

"Maybe I'll miss him, you ever though of that James?!"

"Yea right, you'll miss him. Who will pay for everything?" James mumbles but it was heard.

"What's your problem James, since that little bimbo showed up with Jelly, you've turned on us."

"Their names are Laurel and Anjali, Eve."

"What, you're turning on me for her now too?!" she screeches at Alexis.

"No I'm just saying they have perfectly nice names you can use."

"So she's perfect now is she?! SO all that business the other night about how we weren't going to work long distance and it wouldn't be fair on me for us to stay together because you'd be so far away. All that was bull so you could be with her."

"No, all of that was true; we barely stayed together when we lived in the same town. How were we going to survive a long distance relationship? And you agreed with everything that was said. You even said that I didn't fit into your future and that you need someone with a similar style."

"Maybe I was a little harsh then, I didn't like that you were trying to break up with me." Eve comments moving closer to Alexis and running a finger along his jaw. "I miss you"

"I'm sorry, we are better off this way. And I wasn't trying to break up with you. I did break up with you."

"Then why am I here?!" She coos at him, moving her lips up to his ears.

"Because as you put it that night, "we ended our relationship with a mutual understanding and you can't see why we can't still be friends."

"But we make a good couple,"

That brings a round of laughter from other people at the table.

"No, we didn't Eve." He sighs at the end of the sentence. Alexis knows this is going to be a long conversation. This is what he had expected that night when they were at the park discussing the matter.

"This is because of her, I can tell. She came and everything has changed."

"No it isn't all because of her. Things changed a long time ago and if we are honest we were hardly the most likely couple to make our relationship work"

"You love me." She says looking in to his eyes moving closer. "Admit it Lex, you love me, and you have since high school. Everybody knows it. Everybody can see it"

In the distance the door to the store swings open and we hear the jingle of the bell that staff have put up so they can hear when someone enters or leaves while they are sitting in the office in front of the fans.

"I love you Eve? Are you…"

My sentence is cut short when I notice that there are two eyes staring at me from the counter with jaws dropped. One set of eyes looks at me in disbelief and anger. The other with shock and hurt.

"I... uh..." I've forgotten what I was saying. I can't drag my eyes away from the big brown pair that are staring at me. She must like me so be hurt, right? OR am I being stupid. No logic says she must have some feelings for me. Focus!

"Laurel!" James jumps up and walks over as he follows my gaze not yet seeing Angel as he gets closer to them he spots her and notes her reaction and does a double take and looks back at me.

Oh crap! She just heard me say I love Eve. I don't love Eve. What the hell is happening?

"Oh look, it's Angel, baby." Eve is talking now in a superficially sweet voice.

"Why don't you come join us honey? We were just catching up. I haven't seen you in years. Why not tell me about what's going on? Alexis was just being himself, you know he thinks he needs to tell me every so often that he loves me just to reinforce what I already know. It's sweet."

"That's not what he was saying." James bites out looking at Angel and Laurel who have now composed themselves but there's still something in Angels eyes.

"Oh, James how else do you interpret 'I love you Eve?" she laughs a little laugh, moving closer to me so the two girls can take a seat at the table.

"No really that's ok; we came in to get something to drink before we went for a drive. Nothing like something cold and refreshing when you're going sightseeing," Laurel declines.

"Oh come on Jelly. Sorry old habits die hard. I mean Anjali; come sit, if only for a little while. What do you have to lose?" It was a challenge and it was perfectly clear.

She just looks at Eve for a moment before turning her head to Laurel. "Well if you don't mind pushing the sightseeing for 5 minutes I suppose we could."

A look passes between the girls and Laurel nods, "sure we can stay five minutes. Maybe the car park will be less busy then anyway and we can get going faster."

"Ok then, you take a seat with James. Who looks terribly like his missing you over there and I'll get drinks. I'll be right back."

"I'll help you carry them." Tom's already up and out of his seat before anyone can protest.

"It's two drinks I can manage," she giggles and he throws an arm around her waist.

"Yeah, but then I wouldn't have you all to myself would I?"

"There is that." She adds and they walk towards the cashiers.

Only James and Laurel have noted my reaction to Tom's arm around Angel, but they don't seem to take any action. And to be honest I really don't think Laurel likes me much at this very second in time.

"So Laurie, how'd you meet her?"

"Laurel."

"Sorry?"

"Yes you are, I said my name is LAUREL not Laurie, and to answer your question I met her at Julliard. We were in a couple of classes together in our first semester."

"Julliard?" Eve looks completely dumbfounded which if I'm honest is a regular occurrence only this time I have trouble holding back the snigger.

"The dance school?"

"Ha ha, um yea that's one thing to call it. But then your friend thinks New York is a dive so maybe you guys just have a limited vocabulary."

Again, I barely hold back a snicker as Laurel slams Eve. James on the other hand isn't so forgiving.

"Baby, maybe I should sit on your lap because Angel and Tom are going to end up cramped in to this little gap here."

"Maybe you should go home." I mumble moving further away from her.

"Sorry?"

"I said they will be fine."

"Yea don't you worry your little head Eve, I have plenty of room for Angel" Tom says sitting down and handing Laurel's drink over to her.

"Huh?" Only this time it's not just Eve that looks confused, Laurel, James and I are just as lost.

But before we have the chance to question any further, he reaches out to Angel and pulls her on to his lap.

Now it's my turn to stare at her with my mouth agape as she squirms trying to get up.

"Lady. Stop moving around like that and drink," he scolds tightening his arms around of her.

"No, let me up!"

"Uh NO. So drink and talk, you're not moving."

"Argh, fine but can you loosen your grip a little. Just so, you know... I can breathe?"

"Awe poor baby, here happy?"

"That's better, but if you want to make me happy there is something you could do." She says turning her head so she can see his face.

"Oh yeah?" he questions and wiggles his eyebrows. I pretty much grip my mug harder to stop myself getting up and pulling them apart. He is too close to her, he shouldn't touch her like that, and she isn't his. My reasonable mind kicks in to remind me of a simple matter. She isn't mine either. It echo's in my head while I watch them.

"Yeah," she leans in to him so she has access to his ears. Like what she's saying is meant only for him and its something for them to share. It's driving me crazy. She's obviously said something because he is grinning and then shakes his head at her and pulls her closer to his chest. "Maybe later babe." He adds as she laughs and rests against him.

Laurel just laughs and shakes her head, "now there's a way to make sure she stays," she adds.

"Shall I do that too?" James questions

She just looks at him. "No, I don't think so," and she looks at me shooting daggers. I think I'm causing him problems too.

"SO Lex, tell me, how come you need to profess your undying love so often," she asks calmly, taking a sip of her drink then looking over the cup at me.

"I wasn't professing my love." I bite back moving a little once more.

"Well I'm sorry but Eva's right. How many ways are there to interpret "I love you"?

"My name is EVE!" Comes an indignant screech.

"Sorry, I'm really bad at names." Laurel says not even looking at her; instead she is completely focused on me.

"I hadn't finished my sentence, I was distracted." I say quickly looking at Angel who seems to be listening but I'm not sure. She's sort of turned away from me talking quietly to Tom, Landon and Clay.

"By what?" Laurel questions.

"Well that doesn't matter. What matters is that he said he still loves me and we are together!" Eve interrupts quickly noticing that this conversation isn't going the way she had hoped it would. Well she wanted to discuss it in front of everyone who am I to tell her it's better to discuss these things in private

"I saw you and Angel and was going to call you over." I answer as if Eve hadn't spoken.

"Well what was your sentence going to be then lover boy" Laurel continues not paying any notice of Eve, Angel has turned to look at what was us since she heard her name was mentioned.

"Um..." I have second thoughts about embarrassing Eve in front of so many people. At least I did have second thoughts until I see the look she gives Angel before she moves closer to me as if to make a point. I have to say something. I catch James' eye as I look back at Laurel and he nods understanding that I'm having a moral dilemma and assuring me that in this case I don't really have a lot of choice.

"Maybe I should give you some background to this conversation," James starts.

"No. My conversation my explanation" I interrupt it has to be me.

"Well go on then, I'm sure we are all dying to hear this."

"Eve was having second thoughts about a conversation we had a couple of days ago"

"You mean nights baby" Eve injects making the whole thing sound salacious as possible.

I just look at her shaking my head, look at Angel and hope she understands that things aren't the way that Eve is trying to make them sound. Only to find her looking at Eve with a mix of amusement and pity. I'm guessing she understands that Eve's talking rubbish.

"Anyway, as I was saying, the other day we had a conversation and decided it was best if we went our separate ways." I pause and look at Angel to find she is openly watching me. The scary thing I suppose is that I can't actually read her. She's looking at me with a completely blank face. I have to look away so I choose Laurel who has looked at Angel too and is looking back at me, her features softening like she's worked something out, but she nods at me to continue anyway."

"And Eve is having second thoughts." I'm trying to phrase it without causing too much embarrassment to anyone.

"What does that have to do with professing your love? Surely if you broke up you don't or maybe Eve isn't the only one with second thought about the break up?" Laurel adds.

"I haven't finished. Before you guys joined us, Eve wanted me to admit that I loved her. And I was going to say "are you kidding me, I love you is the last thing I want to admit to you."

"That's not what you said though!" Comes the immediate response from Eve and Laurel.

"No it isn't but it's what I meant. I just got the wording wrong."

"You clearly said I love you Eve!" Eve exclaims.

"Actually," James joins in now, "what he said was, "I love you Eve? Are you..." and then he trailed off. Obviously the part of the sentence he never got to finish was "are you crazy? Of course I don't love you."

I couldn't hold back the laugh this time. I know it was cruel but it was funny. And I let the laughter slip from my lips.

"I'm sorry Eve, but he is right. I don't love you, maybe at some point I did. Or at least I loved the idea that we were good together because we fit what I thought I wanted."

"SO you do want me? But don't love me" She says confused again.

"No I don't want to be with you, no I don't love you. Eve what I'm saying is that a long time ago, when we first started dating in high school I thought that you were what I wanted from a girlfriend. But we've both grown up and since I've finished university, I've realized that we just got back together every time we got back home because it was easy and for some reason everyone coupled off and it ended up being you and me. You deserve to be with someone that loves you and it just isn't me."

"I can't believe this, your dumping me?"

"No we already broke up, and you agreed with me. This is just something you wanted to do to attract attention."

"Whatever, I don't need you!" She scrapes her chair back and stands, the next part is going to be bad I think.

"I never said you did. I know you don't. Just go before we end up doing this on a bitter note."

"Why? You scared I'm gonna tell little Miss perfect over there that you're an ass?" Her voice is rising and she's pointing at Angel and then at me.

"She already knows. Some friend you were to her all those years ago, you never stuck up for her once. Never thought to comfort her either. You just want to get into her-"

"That's enough!" A voice cuts through Eve's tirade. Angel. Her eyes are flashing with an emotion I can't place. But her voice is confident. And she is standing up now. This in turn has Laurel and James on their feet.

I just sit there knowing that part of what Eve has said is true I was a horrible friend to Anjali then. At least when there were people with me anyway. But I'm not going through this because I want to get in to Angel's pants. Which I'm sure was going to be Eve's next sentence because lets face it to Eve that's all anyone would want out of a relationship. But that's not what's happening here. I love Angel; I'm just a little slow in working things out. Somewhere around the 5 years mark I think it's taken to work this out.

"What I'm trying to help you out here!" Eve bites at her.

"Bull! Your not helping me, you're trying to belittle him to make yourself feel better. This is about your relationship with him. You wanted to have this conversation in front of a store full of people. If you want to yell at him, yell at him about your issues. Leave me out of it. I have nothing to do with either of you or your relationship."

"Whatever, you are all so suited to each other. I don't know why I bothered to stay with you all this time."

"Me either."

"Well then I suppose that's it. I hope you are all very happy."

"Eve, you live like two minutes away. It's not like your never going to see us around." Someone tries to reason I couldn't tell you who. I was too busy looking at Angel who is now standing with Tom and he is hugging her close to him.

"I'm moving, in fact the whole family is. Or has that slipped your mind Alexis?"

"No, it hasn't. Consider it a clean break for both of us."

"Yea," With that she turns and leaves.

Drama over. Almost.

"Anyway we should get going, places to see" Laurel breaks the silence that falls.

"Finish your drinks at least." James adds.

"Or at least let Angel drink some of her's." Tom adds.

"Lady!" Laurel looks over noting Angel's untouched drink.

"What you try drinking while sat on Toms lap!"

"Uh, no thanks." James comments.

"I meant Laurel, you dork"

"What are you doing to Angel later Tom?" James asks suddenly.

Angel who had just taken a sip of her frappacino begins to choke and has to thump her chest to settle herself.

"Say what now?" Tom looks bemused.

"Earlier you said "maybe later babe", I add. I'm just as curious as James if not more so.

"Oh that, well that's between us right babe" Tom teases? Pulling her towards him once again.

"We are going now. Tom get off me!"

"Yes, dear."

"We'll see you guys later?" It was meant to be a statement but the tone implied otherwise, to unsuspecting people we were just a group of friends. To those of us around the table we were fighting to keep are calm.

"Almost certainly."

"Bye then"

As the girls turn to leave, Clay and Landon make their excuses to leave. The three remaining men look at each other.

"Well that went well." Tom comments rolling his eyes.

Alexis is up and moving towards the girls before Tom has even finished his sentence.

"Anjali, wait!" He catches her lightly by the arm and turns her to face him.

"What's up?"

"Laurel, can you give us a minute please?"ン

"Drama drama drama." We hear her mumble as she walks out of the store followed by James and Tom.

"Why did you say you had nothing to do with me earlier?" The words sound like they are being spoken by someone else they sound harsh and it doesn't sound like my voice.

"What is wrong with you Alexis?" She demands. "I am nothing to do with you; I stopped being your responsibility a VERY long-time ago. You shouldn't be blamed for my issues."

"Are you kidding me? Of course you're something to do with me; I've known you since you were a baby! And most of the time I am your issues. My mess always becomes your issues"

"No Alexis I make my own issues."

"WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP CALLING ME ALEXIS!" I didn't mean to yell I swear but hearing her call me by my full name for the second time and denying that she is 'nothing to do with me' was too much.

"You're making a scene." She looks around and lowers her voice to just above a whisper, her face looking shocked.

"After this afternoon's events, I don't think it makes much difference. At least we'll give the staff something to think about."

"Why don't you want me calling you Alexis? It is your name." She adds quietly.

"I've always been Lex or Lexi to you. A couple of times I was something else but I've never been an Alexis."

"Oh"

"That all you got to say?" I ask pulling her closer to me as we stand there breathing heavily.

"I guess so."

"You haven't looked at me yet."

"Can't."

"Why not?!" I ask my finger under her chin to try and get her to look at me.

"Because"

"That's not an answer Angel"

"If we are being petty about names I could ask why I'm suddenly Angel"

"But you're not petty and your Angel because it fit's"

"Look Lex, I have to go. Laurel is waiting and we have had enough drama for one afternoon."

"You keep running from this sweetheart, but it's not going anywhere. I told you that night at the restaurant and I'm telling you now, we aren't done."

"I know but not here and not with people watching." She looks at me and my heart stops there is something in her eyes. She looks like she's going to cry.

"Please," she adds. Nodding my understanding, I pull her into an awkward hug. "Not here, not now. But soon, ok?"

"Ok," she confirms. This feels so right.

"Lex you need to let me go."

"I don't want to and you are calling me Lex again."

"Yeah, I don't want anymore yelling, come on let go."

"Ok, ok on one condition."

"Uh"

"Come on just promise me you'll answer this."

"Ask and then I'll tell you if I'll answer."

"Angel." I whine

"Lex spit it out already; this is starting to attract a lot of attention."

"I don't care. Let them look. Are you interested in Tom?" I blurt

"Interested in Tom? In what sense?"

"This is painful, like extracting teeth. I mean, you know, interested like James is interested in Laurel."

I'm greeted with a giggle, "you're jealous? I can ask Laurel if she'll date you if you want."

"If I am jealous, it isn't of James." I say looking at her straight in the eyes.

"No," She breaths a little sigh "No, I'm not interested in Tom. Now let go."

I can't help the grin that spreads across my features. I pull her closer for a moment before tucking a strand of hair behind her ear and kissing the spot just near her ear. " Good."

"I'll call you later."

"Ok."

And with that we have joined the group outside.

"Come on Laurel; let's show you the only place you still have left to see. The Mill."

Nobody seeing two people walk out of the store, one glaring daggers at oblivious girls walking towards the car.

"Eve what's going on?"

"What are you talking about Jess?"

"I was in Starbucks this afternoon. I was with Jacob and we were in the back. I heard all that unfold. Alexis dumped you?"

"No, we agreed to let it finish."

"Whatever, but then the second you were gone he was all over Anjali."

"What are you talking about? He isn't with Anjali"

"Well he sure as hell gave her a goodbye then. She's destroyed both of our relationships Eve; we have to teach her a lesson."

"Jess let it go; if we are honest she hasn't done anything. James called it off with you a week before she came back and Alexis, well he's right. We don't fit really."

"So you're happy that he has someone new and you're all alone."

"He doesn't."

"Yes he does hon. I'll prove it. Meet me at the Mill."

"Why."

"Just do it. I think we should talk to precious little Anjali."

"Dude how come Angel gets to show Laurel around?" James demands as we have dropped Tom off at home and are driving aimlessly.

"Because she's her best friend?"

"So, I'm her boyfriend."

A laugh escapes me "Jealous much?"

"Only as much as you were of Tom before you dragged it out of him and Angel that they are/were just being silly."

"Whatever you say."

"So Angel knows you love her?"

"Angel knows that something is different. I don't know exactly what she knows."

"And your going to tell her when?"

"Man I don't know. Leave it alone."

"Would you quit taking this by baby steps? This is your life more to the point her life your playing with."

"James."

"Fine"

After driving around in silence for a few minutes, I notice we are on the road that leads us to the Mill.

"Dude! You couldn't leave them alone could you?" I laugh.

"We should have joint rights at the very least."

As we get closer and park we notice that there are a lot of other cars parked.

"Lots of people we know, but none of these cars are Angels."

"I'm getting a bad feeling." I say.

"That's Eve's car and Jessica's"

"My bad feelings not about them. My bad feelings coming from the fact Toby's car is parked over there" He indicates a little in front of us and to the left.

"This doesn't feel right." I mumble and as James pulls the key out of the ignition I've opened the door. We both hit the ground running.

"You think some new friends and clothes changes anything Jelly?"

"You're still insignificant, dear" Eve sneers. Before continuing "You don't mean anything to him. He just wants something new to play with and it has to be said all that dancing has done wonders to your body.

"I'd do you" Toby comments

"Get off me"

"Leave her alone! I'm serious!" I can see that he is holding her by the arms in the middle of the room and that the two girls and their cronies are circling her. I'm being held back by some one else. I know it's a guy but I don't know who. I've never met him before. These people are crazy. They were here when we walked in and they grabbed Angel

"Awe isn't that sweet? These new friends even feign concern for you, Princess." Toby mocks.

"That's not true." I can hear Angel mumble.

"Have you told them that you wanted so badly to be one of us in high school that you'd lie awake and dream of having friends?" Jessica asked this time.

"That you would flirt, or I assume it was flirting, with the boys to try and get an in with us"

"Have you told this little friend of yours you used to flirt with her new man?" Jessica adds.

"That you kissed him on New Years Eve before they left for college?"

"Why are you doing this? I haven't done anything to you!" I hear Angel say

Smack. It was the sickening sound of flesh hitting flesh.

The sound echoes in the small dark room and I can see Angel jump back. Followed by sick sound of laughter.

"Get off me!" I pull on the arms holding me. I need to help her.

"Shh baby, this is the fun part."

"GET OF ME YOU SICK PERVERT" I scream trying to kick him

"If you don't stop I'll get her to slap you too." He says before continuing "Now shut up I'm listening" I have to say what I heard next stilled me.

"This Jelly is an intervention. You come back in to our lives and decided to ruin it. So we thought we should show you that we really don't appreciate it."

"I haven't done anything to you how have I managed to ruin anything." I can hear her say. I'm so proud she isn't showing any sign of weakness to them.

James POV

"I can't see anyone," I say exasperated.

"But they are here we know that." Alexis responds.

"They wouldn't have gone in to the mill room itself. Angel always hated it in there. Remember we went in once and she got freaked and ran outside." James comments.

"I remember, I came out and sat with her," he adds

"Maybe we should check just in case."

As we get closer my stomach lurches this feels bad. Then we hear it. There are people in there.

"I can hear voices." I mumble as we hear the next voice clearly.

"And by the way Jessica, you are so brave in slapping me when I have Toby holding my arms back firmly. No chance of you getting hurt then is there."

"Open the damn door James." Alexis demands from next to me his voice tight with anger. I'm still processing what I heard. Did Angel just say Jessica had slapped her?!

As we step through the doors we struggle to see anything, there is barely any light in there. But we can hear her. Angel's talking to someone but they sound further away. We being to walk closer to the voices still seeing no one. For some reason neither of us talk nor do we make our selves known.

"I could do it without his help too."

"Come on then, get him to let go. I want to see how tough you are without him as support."

We round the corner and witness something I never thought I'd see. I knew they were bitches but this is evil.

"Toby get of her." The order was issued and without any further comment we all stand in amazement as Angel shakes her arm briefly and in one fluid movement raises her arm and it connects palm first in to Jessica's nose. We all hear the crack that follows.

"AHH" We all hear Jessica scream out in pain "Eve," she whimpers sinking to the floor holding the floor, followed by a grunt of pain by a male somewhere in the room.

"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!" Alexis roars from next to me swiftly moving to Angel's side. "Are you ok?" he asks pulling her to him and checking her over in what dim light he can see in.

"Uh huh." I can't hear I'm still frozen in shock. Angel just broke Jessica's nose. Jessica, Eve and Toby were holding her at the mill. God knows what could have happened. Did we join a reality TV show? Or get warped in to some stupid teen horror?

"Someone better start explaining NOW!" Alexis demands pushing Angel towards me and grabbing Toby by the front of his shirt. Toby is smirking.

"Alexis. Dude I'm sorry man, I didn't know that we weren't supposed. Dude, Toby just said there was something he needed to be taken care of" Nathan moves forward pulling someone with him with one arm, the other rubbing his ribs as he limps towards us.

"Laurel." Angel runs forward and hugs her.

"Laurel!" I exclaim her name snapping me out of my thoughts and I move for Nathan.

"What the hell were you doing?" I demand throwing a punch at his face before I can stop myself. "You never grab a woman. And you certainly never grab her." I say pulling him back towards me by the front of his shirt.

"Man, I thought it was all ok. I didn't know Toby was trying to get at you guys."

"Anyway she hold ups quite well. She was going to kick me in the balls man."

"I still might if James lets go of your shirt." I hear Laurel comment

He pales visibly and I pull her into me and hug her talking in to her hair. I question, "Are you ok. Did he hurt you?"

"I think we need to worry about Angel she took the worst of it."

That when we all hear it the low grumble of a motorbike and as soon as we heard it, it's gone and replaced with footsteps.

"Angel?" Comes the voice sounding closer.

"MAX!" both girls call running towards him.

He looks dangerous; taking in Angel's now marked face and the hand prints on Laurels arms.

"What happened?" His jaw tenses as he surveys the remaining people.

"Can we go home please?" Comes Angel's quiet voice.

"In a minute." He steps forward putting both of the girls safely behind him and looks over at Jessica who has her own blood dripping down her face. Alexis who is holding Toby up by his neck and Nathan who is standing shell shocked, staring at me. I still have my hands balled in to fists.

"Babe tell me you knocked that broad on her ass." He comments looking back at Angel.

She looks at him for a minute looks at Jessica and Eve and then. Then she shrugs one shoulder. "She deserved it," she adds.

"Proud of you babe!" He chuckles and walks over to Alexis and Toby.

I think I better move that way too. Checking that no one has moved any closer to the girls I walk over to join Max and Lex.

"How do you want to do this?" He questions Alexis. I'm hoping Lex knows what he means because I'm lost.

"I'm not sure. As much as I think beating Toby would make me feel better. It wouldn't help."

"Angel baby, what do you want?" Max turns once more to look at her

"I want to go; they aren't worth the time, effort, or repercussions."

"What? Not even one really good bitch slap?" I hear myself ask before I've thought anymore about it. All I know is that the two women who mean a lot to me have been hurt and he is partly to blame.

"Laurel?"

"I say slap him senseless but in the end, I say it's all up to you you're the ones surrounding him."

"Don't you think this is all a little out of hand?" Eve walks over to us.

"You kidnapped them and now you're worried about out of hand?" Alexis glares.

"It's not kidnapping when they came here on their own."

"Fine, unlawful imprisonment."

"It's all gotten a little crazy. All that was supposed to happen was we were going to talk to her. Maybe scare her a little. Then Jess got all overworked and Toby, well he's crazy anyway. And it just escalated."

"And that makes it all ok?" Max interjects.

"Well no, look I'm sorry any of this happened and I'm sorry I believed Jess. I don't even know why I agreed to come. I was hurt that it was over and according to her you were already over me, which you are. I can see that. And really it's ok. I'm happy for you. I'm gone. This whole thing is just too stupid for words and I'm sorry people got hurt. Maybe I'll see you guys around."

"Eve what are you doing? I'm hurt you're supposed to look after me."

"There's nothing wrong with you. You've got a broken nose, take yourself to the hospital or ask Nathan or Toby. I'm sick of this and I'm sick of you."

She starts to walk away she stops at Angel and Laurel. "You can take a swing at me too. I deserve it" she says and closes her eyes, waiting for the impact to come. After a minute and still feeling nothing she opens her eyes to see that Angel still hasn't moved from her spot.

"I'm not going to hit you. Like I said to the boys, it's not worth it."

"I really am sorry Anjali, for everything, not just this. I hope you forgive me one day, but if you don't, I would understand that too. Have a nice life."

"You too."

And that's it, Eve's gone. Nothing left to do there. Now that leaves Toby and Jess, seeing as Nathan and the cronies have dispersed, fearing the consequences of their stupidity.

"Max, please I want to go now." Angel calls

"Yes Max, be a good little lap dog," Toby mocks. This to a normal person who had seen the look in Max's eyes would have been a stupid comment to make. But to someone who had hurt Anjali and was currently trapped between three males who were all ready to pounce was just the signature on his death warrant.

"Excuse me."

"Poor little Jelly needs her big man to make it all ok."

"Max don't." Laurel calls.

"Aw poor Maxie, can't think for himself, needs to take orders from pu-"

"Ofh." One swift punch that's all it took.

"James!" The girls cry out, moving forward towards the group as Toby doubles over and falls back a few steps.

"Sorry, I've been dying to do that for years" I say shaking my hand loose. Before continuing "and you told Alexis and Max not to do it, not me really."

"Right," Max adds looking at me amused.

"You," Max says, picking Toby up so he can look him in the eye.

"You need to stay away from Anjali, Anjali's friends, and Anjali's family do you understand me?"

"Whatever."

"No, see that's the wrong answer and the thing is, I get very irritable when I get the wrong answers. So how about getting it right this time" Max is looking at Toby dead in the eyes the unspoken threat clear in the look.

"I won't go near her again." Toby mumbles

"Atta boy." Max lets go letting him stagger a little.

"Come on ladies, let's get you home."

"How? Three people on one bike--"Angel begins

"I'll take the car home you go with Max." Laurel finishes.

"But--"

"I'm fine sweetie, and at least this way I get to choose the music," Laurel continues.

"Only if you're sure."

"We'll follow her," James says.

We can hear Max and Angel talking. This is how it always goes, something will happen and neither of them can leave it as a depressing moment, so they talk.

"Ok, come on madam, the helmet awaits."

"I hate that thing."

"Shame, you're wearing it then, isn't it?"

"Can't you get a prettier one?"

"Uh let me see. No."

"Max?"

"Yes babe?"

"I love you?"

Max turns and wraps her in his arms, "I love you too, Babe. Now come on we need to get you home and get some ice for your cheek."

Its funny hearing them walk away towards the bike. I can see that Alexis is following her movements keenly, making sure no harm has come to her. Watching and listening, like a bird of prey. Except he isn't trying to kill his prey. I'm such a dork! I look away from them and to the two boys I'm left with.

"Shall we get going then?"

"Are you ok?"

"I'm fine, shaken but fine." Before the sentence is finished James has pulled me into his arms and is hugging me tightly.

"Aw."

"James, why don't you drive Laurel back to the house and I'll drive your car back." Alexis calls he sounds distant even though he is only a few paces away.

"Ok," James says without much protest or thought still hugging me. We can still hear Angel and Max walking to the bike.

"Danny and Aimee are gonna be pissed," calls Laurel suddenly stopping Anjali in her steps.

"Oh crap."

"He wont like this at all Max" Laurel continues.

"He won't like that he wasn't there to help you. Or that he was left out once we found you, but 4 guys beating on one might be considered premeditated assault"

"Max" Angel starts

"I'll take care of it babe, come on get on the bike."

"Can I drive?" She

"Oh man."

"Come on Please. I haven't driven in ages."

"Angel."

"Pleassssse"

"No."

"I'll go with Laurel."

"No, you won't"

"I will"

"Laurel's already stated her car."

"Fine, I'll go with the boys."

"No."

"James, wait."

"Go ahead we'll meet you at home" Max calls out before the boys have even had a chance to respond.

"Come on please?"

"You've had a traumatic afternoon; I don't think you should drive."

"Yes, but black beauty would make it better."

"Argh! Fine, but not all the way home I'll get us half way then you can drive, ok?"

"Woohoo!"

"You sure you're ok?"

"Yeah I'm fine," she sighs.

"You're not really but we will talk about it later, when you're ready."

"Hum."

"Good" he pushed the helmet over her head.

"I HATE THIS THING!" comes her muffled voice. He laughs.

"Hold on tight babe!"

Over the low growl of the bike driving off up the dirt path, I call out. It needs to be done now more than ever I guess so let's get it over with.

"So Alexis." I call to him before he closes the door to the car.

"Yes?"

"When are you going to tell Angel?"

"Tell Angel what?" He asks puzzled.

"That you love her."

"Where'd you hear that?" He asks glaring at James.

"Hey man it wasn't me." James holds his arms up in surrender.

"He's right, he didn't tell me. I heard it from you at James house earlier."

"You were hiding behind the trees!" Suddenly realization flashes in his eyes.

"Uhhum."

"She doesn't need to know."

"Are you kidding me?"

"No"

"So she's been verbally harassed for 20 minutes by your psycho ex girlfriend and other members of the we hate "Jelly" club, but you don't think she needs to hear why they got so overworked or why you got so mad."

"No, but because she was harassed for the last 20 minutes I don't think she wants to hear 'I love you' from me right now."

"If that's true, your stupid and you don't deserve her."

"Maybe I don't deserve her anyway."

"That's it; throw your self a pity party."

"Are you kidding me? Angel put up with abuse when we were kids and I did nothing to stop it. Then she comes back when she's grown up and she gets abused again and I barely do a thing to stop it. That's what every girl wants her boyfriend to be, isn't it Laurel? A COWARD?" He screams the last word and I jump back startled.

"You would have put Toby in the hospital had Angel not been there to watch, or if she hadn't have said stop." I comment.

"That's not the point."

"You know what? I'm sick to the back teeth of this. I spent all morning thinking of how I could make you realize you needed her, loved her and all that jazz but this is old. No wonder she dated Joe in high school. At LEAST he was nice to her and cared about her! AT LEAST HE HAD THE COURAGE TO ASK HER HOW SHE FELT!" With that I climb in to my car and slam the door behind me. I can hear both men outside; can see both looking slightly dumbstruck. James climbs in shortly after me and closes the driver's door and starts the engine.

As we roll down the dirt path curiosity gets the better of him, "She dated Joe?"

"Yea, he asked her out"

"When?"

"After that game when Alexis stood her up and she went to that bistro place, he had gone after her."

"And he just asked her." He asks incredulously

"That's normally how it goes."

"But it's Angel"

"And what? She's not human?" I snap glaring at him.

"No, but she's always been shy around new people."

"Maybe her anger made her bold."

"How long did they date for?" I look over at him suspiciously.

"You're spying."

"No, no, I'm not. I'm curious."

"Bull," and that's when I see it for the first time, the little wire in his ear. That's right folks he's got his cell phone on. Guess who the other person is.

"ALEXIS IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ASK ANGEL!" I practically shout and then refuse to say anything else. I turn and face out the window and stay like that until we roll to a stop outside the house.

I jump out as James is pulling the keys out of the ignition.

"Laurel come on," James pleads.

"You can go now," I add.

"They aren't here," Alexis notes looking on the driveway. No bike.

"Maybe Max told her he loves her."

"He did, you heard them. It was right after she said 'I love you' to him.

"Yeah, but that's different. That's like saying I love ice cream."

"Whatever."

And then there it is the low grumble of the bike as it rolls closer up the road before pulling in to the driveway. Angel sitting in front of Max. Huh.

"HE LET YOU DRIVE?" Laurel screams attracting Aimee and Danny's attention from inside as they come out and study the scene in front of them. Aimee grins.

"You drove black beauty?" she mocks.

Angel nods as Max gets of the bike.

"You hate that helmet but aren't taking it off." Aimee continues.

Angel shakes her head getting of the bike.

"You're going to have to show them sometime babe," Max says standing next to her and beginning to remove the said helmet.

"What the hell happened?" Danny questions angrily by Angel's side almost before the rest of the helmet is off her head.

"I don't want to talk about it" Angel says knowing that they are all looking at her intently waiting for an explanation. But at the same time the embarrassment of the afternoon's events take hold of her, and she can feel the tears come but she doesn't want them to see her cry. She walks past all of them and up the porch in to the house.

Only when she is safely in the house do the tears spill down her face, only then does she run. Straight to her room, to the bed that has seen her cry many a time, and the pillows that collect every drop silently. Never judging her, pitying her nor tormenting her. So many times she promised her self that this time would be the last. Except now there is one more humiliation to add to the list. Maybe she shouldn't have come home.

"So is someone going to tell me what happened?" Danny questions when we have all moved in to the house.

"Shouldn't someone check on her?" Alexis asks moving to look up the stairs.

Laurel, Aimee Max and Danny just shake their heads." No she wants to be on her own for a while. Someone will go up in a while."

"I knew she was too calm on the way back." Max mumbles.

"Again, what happened and why on Gods earth has she got a hand print on her face?!" Danny demands again.

"Well it started at starbucks I guess this afternoon." Laurel starts and piece by piece the afternoon was explained to two very shocked looking New Yorkers.

Authors Notes:

I hope that this chapter makes up for the wait guys. please review and let me know what you thought.

Also I have to say thanks to some people

Huge thanks to Ellie who worked her ass of for me. Thanks hun for everything, including listening to mebabbling and encouraging me also for sticking with me for this story and its LONG road to its final chapter.

Many thanks to Julia who shocked me in to trying to perfect a chapter so I could post it. No Julia I didnt die. I'm still alive.

Saran - Thanks for your support and keeping an eye out on what I'm doing or not doing as the case maybe. Thanks for everything.

Teea - thanks for sticking with this story, yes you read correctly it was Laurel that over heard them.

Cassie - for all your support

For everyone that reviews. I love you guys for taking the time out to let me know what you thought. I hope you will continue to do that. . I normally put responses to the reviews that were left, but I think that because most of you left the reviews so long ago there isn't really much point because I'm sure you will have fogotten what you said. So I'm just going to say thanks to:

False Advertisment, Written,Teea, snowtiger 13713, smuged lines, charmed fantasia, punk rocker 11, broken ice,