This chapter's title sucks more than most...Would actually appreciate suggestions. Heheh... Thanks!
"Dean, why don't you just tell me why the hell we're here?" Aaron rolled his eyes exasperatedly.
Dean shrugged, pushing Aaron along, "How the hell should I know?" he asked. "Some chick just gave me five bucks to get you here."
"What chick?" he furrowed his eyebrows skeptically, looking back at him.
"That chick from that magazine thing," Dean explained irritably, as he was not a person for details. "The yappy opinionated chick with the curly hair—"
"Tia," Aaron blinked in surprise. "Why?" he wanted to know. "And—what were you doing talking to her?"
"She hunted me down—who knows?" he shrugged then wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, "I think she wants me."
Aaron had to roll his eyes again. "I highly doubt it," he replied knowingly. He just let Dean lead him along. He had been wanting to talk to Tia anyway since she was the only friend of Elle's that he knew. He thought maybe he could ask—no, he probably needed to beg—her to help him get some serious time with Elle. At this point, he was open to any and all suggestions.
Aaron was too preoccupied with his thoughts then that he didn't hear them at first—the loud voices which seemed to be arguing a few doors down the hall. Getting nearer, he heard the voices clearer.
"Come on," a female voice was saying, "I'm only trying to help you here. What's the worst that could happen? Don't you see you can't scare him away anymore?" she insisted. "You two have already pushed yourselves away because you're both too stupid to admit to yourselves that you love each other! It's so pathetic!"
The voice that responded made him stop in his tracks.
"You're delusional! He does not love me."
Aaron's heartbeat pounded in his chest and he swallowed hard. What did she say? Was she talking about him? he wondered, his breath catching in anticipation.
"How the hell do you know?" Tia prompted loudly.
"What the hell makes you think that he does?"
If Aaron hadn't been so suddenly overwhelmed, he might have instantly burst into the room and announced the proof but he found himself suddenly, uncharacteristically, nervous as hell.
"What's wrong?" Dean nudged him.
Aaron felt himself start to smile. For the first time in weeks, he felt hopeful. He knew he was going to owe Tia big for this. He also knew it was all going to be so worth it.
"Oh come on, Elle," Tia continued, sighing heavily. "The whole school has known it for the past two months. Why don't you? Why can't you see what's right in front of you?" she demanded.
Elle whirled around annoyed. "What? What is your point? What do you want from me?" she demanded.
Tia paused for a moment calmly. "I just think you should talk to him," she suggested smoothly.
"And say what?" Elle threw up her hands exasperatedly, pacing the room.
"The truth!" Tia said. "Tell him you like him. Tell him you love him," she shrugged pointedly. "You were in love with him then. You're still in love with him now-"
"Yeah, that's exactly what Aaron Williams wants to hear," she rationalized meaningfully.
"Yes it is," Aaron said clearly, finally coming into the room.
Elle sucked in her breath, frozen in panic, and couldn't turn around to confirm who it was but she didn't have to.
Tia looked up past Elle's shoulder and she quirked an eyebrow satisfied. "Ah, Aaron," she grinned. "I was just having the most interesting conversation with my friend here. Would you like to continue it?" she prompted, even as she walked past Elle, headed out the door, pushing Dean out of the room with her, "See you guys later, bye!"
The door slammed shut loudly then it was all quiet.
Elle heaved at the silence and the realization that they were alone. Her frown deepened and her heart was already pounding in her chest even as Aaron slowly, cautiously, walked around her so she faced him.
Aaron looked stunned as he spoke, "You're in love with me?" no more than a whisper. He creased his forehead, "Why didn't you tell me you were in love with me?"
She shot him a suffering look. It was so typical. Come this far and all he could do was blame her. "Why didn't you tell me you were in love with me?" she pressed. "You're the guy," I pointed out.
"All the more reason why you should've told me first," Aaron rationalized.
"Oh my god-," Elle rolled her eyes and started to walk to the door, brushing past him.
Aaron caught her arm. "Elle, we're not finished," he said.
"Like hell we're not," she tried to shrug his hand off but he held her firmly and pulled her in front of him, forcing her to meet his gaze. "Let me go," she protested.
Aaron shook his head, holding her gaze, and a smile appeared on his lips, "Never."
"This is not gonna work," Elle tried to struggle away from him but her knees were starting to get weak as his arms went around her.
"Yes it will," Aaron argued.
"No, it won't," she rationalized. "We have nothing in common. We're too different—"
"We've changed," he reminded her and he smiled again diffidently, "I think we bring out the best in each other. I know you do in me."
"I don't have time—," Elle insisted.
"We'll make time."
"I can't compete—"
"You don't have to," he assured.
Elle was still shaking her head. "No! We're too—strange—and stubborn," she concluded. "We're pathetic together! If we couldn't even handle a temporary agreement for fun, how do you think we'll manage any real kind of—whatever this is?" she creased her forehead. "I just don't see why...I don't see how this will be any different—"
"Well," Aaron paused mischievously, "'cause you love me."
Elle's jaw dropped in disbelief. "Yeah, and you love me," she pointed out, wanting to roll her eyes at his impertinence.
Aaron smiled slowly. He tilted her chin up with his hand and gazed into her eyes. "Yeah, I do," he admitted and it was as if a great weight had lifted off his shoulders.
Elle blinked surprised, her eyes softening at his confession.
"And I mean it," he added softly.
She studied his eyes and what she saw confirmed it. She creased her forehead slightly. It was the same look in his eyes for the past two months. And he means it, she thought, starting to smile slowly herself, feeling relieved and reassured and completely elated.
Then she stopped short, rolled her eyes and began exasperatedly, "Are you kidding me—you mean all this time we've both just been—"
"Elle-!" Aaron groaned loudly, dropping his head back in frustration.
"Aaron," Elle quickly took his head in her hands so he would meet her gaze.
Aaron blinked at her, studying her eyes expectantly, his forehead still creased.
Then Elle slowly smiled again and leaned up, moving her head closer to his, but before their lips met, she whispered fervently, "I mean this too."
Aaron received her kiss eagerly, shifting his hands on her back, crushing her against him as they reveled in the sweet kiss. He pulled away slightly and grinned, whispering against her mouth, "You said it first," he teased.
She shot him a skeptical look. "No, I didn—"
Aaron caught her lips in his again and deepened the kiss. Elle gave up her protest and threw her hands around his neck, kissing him back with the same intensity as he chuckled in his throat.
"It doesn't really matter who said it first," Tia argued logically outside the door as she and Dean eavesdropped. "But they damn well should've done it way sooner. Some people are just so dense."
Dean was staring at her. "You're cute," he grinned. "Wanna go out?"
That was it.
And that's it! Hope you all liked it! Appreciate all those who've reviewed or are about to. Thanks so much for reading! And if you haven't got much else to do, appreciate you reviewing my other stuff too. Hehehe... Ciao!