Austin placed his cell phone in his pocket as his plate of food was placed in front of him, rubbing his hands together before grabbing his fork. Duke sat across from him in the booth, smiling slightly at their waitress as she placed his plate next to his beer. She went on her way, leaving the two friends alone with their food.
"So, I see that Alexis still has this intense unexplained hatred towards you."
"Is that so?"
"The rule is to pretty much never say your name in her presence and when someone does, I'm scared for their safety. I don't know what you did or said to her, but she's holding onto that shit. Women and their grudges…"
Duke rolled his eyes as he sipped his beer, "Tell me about it. I'm trying to get back on her good side though and I was thinking that you could help me out with that."
"I suppose, but I feel like I'm betraying her if I help you…"
"You're helping a friend!"
"True, but I've known her longer."
"Us men need to stick together."
Austin grinned, "How could I be of any help?" His grin fell quickly, "And if your idea goes terribly wrong, I had no part in it."
"Alexis is a hundred pounds and you're still scared of her?"
"She's a small monster and she hits hard and she knows just where to pinch you and hold…it's terrible. She's a terrible, abusive friend."
"Okay, focus. You said you were looking for someone to take those concert tickets off of your hands since Savannah can't go due to whatever reason. Does Alexis know that you have them?"
"No, I kept the surprise all to myself."
"I remember you mentioned that Alexis is a big fan of the band, too."
"T-shirts, tons of their music on her player…she's a fan. They're not that great if you ask me, but…"
"I'll buy them from you."
Austin lifted his blue eyes from his plate, raising a brow. "What makes you think Alexis would even go with you, alone, to a concert?"
"That'll be the catch, Austin. She can have the ticket all she wants, but I get the other ticket. She is not going to turn down second row seats."
"Ah, I don't know about that. Her hatred may run deep, my friend. I can sell them to you, but I think you're buying them for nothing. Dude, please tell me you're not doing this because you still like her. That's just sad. It's been over a year and she still isn't giving you any attention."
"She's giving me attention, but it's just hate-filled. If she just spends some time with me one on one, she'll see that I'm actually not that bad."
"I tell her you're not that bad when she gives me dirty looks or sends mean emoticons when I mention I'm chilling with you, but she won't even listen to me."
"Mya tells her stupid shit about me that isn't even true. Mya is very good at assuming and shit-talking."
"That is true. She's distanced herself from me, so I don't have to deal with all of that drama that seems to follow her around."
"Isn't because she likes you or some weird shit like that?"
"So I heard, but she's never acted on it or said anything to me so it's whatever. I would never give her the time of day, man. Your sister is insane."
"Same difference. Good luck with the concert plan." He pointed his fork at him, his face serious. "Again, do not mention my name under any circumstances if it blows up in your face."
Alexis sighed loudly as she looked at all of her packed boxes in her soon-to-be old bedroom. Wyatt sat on her carpeted floor, taping one last box shut and moving it aside. "Are you renting a van to move all your crap or what?"
"No. I was thinking of finding someone with a truck and just asking to use it."
"Isaac has a truck."
"Of course Isaac has a truck. What happened to that black car he's been driving?"
"Rental while his truck was in the shop."
"Well, I'm not asking him of all people," she grumbled, checking through new messages on her phone.
"Of all people? Don't like him?"
"It's not that…it doesn't matter. I'm not asking."
Wyatt came to a stand, his eyes on his phone as well as it made a chirped noise. "You don't have to. I just texted him and he said sure."
Her arm fell to her side, her messaging long forgotten as her mouth fell open. "Wyatt!"
The blonde immediately became annoyed with her loud voice, raising a brow at his sister. "What's your deal? You need a truck and I got it covered. Where is my thanks? I'm so under appreciated…"
Alexis rolled her hazel eyes at his overdramatic attitude, sitting on her bed with a small frown upon hearing that Isaac was going to be assisting her with the move. On the other hand, she couldn't deny that a part of her was somewhat eager about spending a little bit of time with him. She closed her eyes briefly. What was her problem? "Mom seems to like him. She doesn't talk much about him with me, though."
Wyatt shrugged his shoulders, "I think he's a cool dude. I still think Dad is better with her…I don't know. I just don't see them being together a year from now, you know? I think Mom is still having her fun or something, but that's just my opinion. Oh, he wants to know the day and time to come over and help. I'm still waiting on a 'thank you'."
Two days later, Alexis found herself in her bathroom attempting to make her hair look decent before Isaac arrived. She ran her fingers through her loose waves, hating herself with every minute that passed since she was even wasting her time looking a bit better just because of Isaac. She huffed in frustration and clipped her bangs back with two bobby pins before exiting her bathroom and heading down the stairs. She bit her lip nervously when his voice reached her ears followed by Wyatt's laughter. The two of them looked at her as she came jogging down the stairs, Alexis tossing Isaac a quick smile.
Her eyes did a quick once over, slapping herself inwardly as she noticed that his simple white tee hugged his muscular figure in all the right places. She was sure that there was a special place in Hell waiting for her. "Thanks, again. You really didn't have to help. I have gas money for you, though."
"Don't worry about it."
"It's fine," he interrupted with a small smile. "I needed to take a break from grading tests anyway and the complex isn't that far from here."
"I'm a high school math teacher," he revealed, moving aside as Wyatt passed him carrying a box full of items.
'Now, it all makes sense why students get with their teachers.' "Ew," she murmured with a scrunch of her freckled nose.
His smile widened with amusement, "Ew?"
"Not a fan I take it?"
"Math equals the work of Satan," she stated, following Wyatt with a box herself. Isaac followed close behind with a box under each arm.
"A bit dramatic, don't you think?"
"Absolutely not! Math is horrible and has done nothing but ruin my almost perfect report cards since, like…seventh grade."
"All it takes is paying attention."
"Which is hard to do since I fall asleep with my eyes open as soon as numbers are rambled off," she joked, earning a laugh from the older man. Small talk continued between the two as numerous boxes were loaded in the back of his truck, the mattress being carried out by Wyatt and Isaac as Alexis loaded smaller items in her trunk. Almost an hour later, the three of them stood outside as Alexis made sure that everything was gathered so she could leave.
Wyatt checked his red cellular phone, looking at Alexis when she shut her trunk. "I can't come and help you unload, but Isaac can."
Her eyes shot to him, "What? Why not?"
"I have plans!"
"You said you would help. I gave you forty dollars!"
Wyatt rolled his blue eyes, "I'm canceling my plans with you. Come on! Zane just got Final Death at midnight last night and he planned a gaming party and I want to be on time. Don't be lame and make me come help you when you already have Isaac to do all the heavy lifting when you get there."
Savannah peeked out of the kitchen with a smile as the front door to the new apartment opened, revealing Alexis with Isaac following her inside. Her smile fell for a split second before returning as she stepped out of the kitchen. "I'm making the mixed drinks so we can get this unpacking slash new apartment little party started. Hey, Isaac. I'm not sure if you remember me, but I'm her roomie, Savannah. Austin is in the bathroom and Duke is in the kitchen—"
"Duke?" Alexis' eyes narrowed at her friend as she whispered the name in what almost could be called a growl.
Savannah's smile turned nervous, "Hey, he showed up with Austin and was nice enough to get the alcohol. Don't be a party pooper, Alexis!"
'…I hate my friends.' "Anyway," Alexis deadpanned as she turned around to Isaac, "help me get stuff up here?"
Minutes later, Austin found himself helping Isaac carry up the large mattress as Savannah and Duke busied themselves in the kitchen. Duke lifted his blue eyes when he heard another male voice that he didn't recognize, watching Isaac joke around with Austin. "And he is?"
"Oh! Right. Natalie's new boyfriend," Savannah informed, placing a few beers in the fridge. "Wyatt asked him to help, so here he is. Cute, isn't he?"
Duke glanced at the tall girl next to him, tempted to roll his eyes at her questions. "Incredibly cute," he played along, getting a quick laugh from the brunette. Alexis heard her from where she was standing, shooting a glare that went unseen by the two people in the kitchen. Why in the world was her closest friend fraternizing with the enemy? Austin entered the apartment with a stretch, "Alright! All your heavy crap is here. I'm going to go grab a beer."
Alexis nodded slowly as she stood by the front door, her hazel eyes lifting to Isaac when he appeared in the doorway with her small lamp in hand. She gave him a smile as she took it from him, biting her lip. "Um, thanks. Again. I think I said thanks a million times, but—um, would you like to come in? There's drinks…you can have a beer and not our fruity drinks Savannah made since beer is a…man drink…that men…" 'Shut up.'
His brown eyes plainly held amusement as she rambled and let it die down with a few incoherent mumbles. He stood as her gaze dropped to her feet before returning his gaze with what looked like she was hoping he would accept the invitation. He shook his head with a friendly smile, "I really should get going and finish some things up before it gets too late, but thank you."
"Are you sure you don't want gas money?"
"Alexis, don't worry about it! Really. You've asked me that at least five times. It's no big deal."
"Okay, okay…you're right. Sorry. I…okay. I'll see you later…or around sometime," she awkwardly spoke, resisting the urge to simply slam the front door in his face. He yelled his goodbye to the other three in the apartment, smiling once more at Alexis before making his way down the hall and stairs. Alexis closed her eyes with a sigh, wishing that she could form a complete sentence like a normal human being. She closed the front door and locked it, turning around to see Austin standing quietly.
She went into attack mode. She began with pointing her index finger at him.
Austin stopped her with his own index finger, "Be nice!"
"How dare you invite him! My enemy should be your enemy!"
"God, Alexis. You act like he…killed your dog or something!"
"I never had a dog!"
"No, but if you had one, you would be acting like he killed it," he whispered back. "Come on, Lex. He's being civil. I'm sorry we have stuff in common and he's nice to Savannah and a pretty cop; guy."
"He has his evil hold on you," she hissed quietly, placing her hands on her hips. "And Wyatt! Well, Wyatt is almost as evil as he is, so I see why they click so well."
"Just be nice. Do your breathing exercise and don't kill him while Savannah and I make a quick trip to the store."
"Are you serious?!"
He stepped closer to his friend, waving his hands at her as she raised her voice slightly. "Sh! Ten minutes. We'll be right back. Don't kill him."
Alexis rolled her eyes, crossing her arms unhappily. "I'll try not to."
"I know you don't want blood on your new carpet," he said with a smile as he took out his car keys, calling for his girlfriend.
The night continued on with the four of them drinking and eating snacks at they talked and unpacked, Austin being in charge of blasting music on the stereo in the living room. Savannah was the first one to get ready for bed due to the too many drinks she was beginning to feel. Austin was more than glad to follow her after saying his goodnight and hurrying off as Alexis gave him the look of death.
Duke watched as the brunette got up to turn down the music to a low volume before sitting down on the floor and pulling another box over in front of her. Any moment now, she was expecting for Duke to take his leave, but instead he started a conversation.
"I found a way to make up with you."
She didn't look up at him as he sat on the couch. "For what?"
"The tip. Having sex with you. Whichever."
She came to a stop and looked at him, her lips pulled into a tight line.
He sighed and lifted a hand, "Alright, bad joke. I'm making up for the tip incident."
'Asshole.' Her gaze fell back to the box. "I'm somewhat listening."
"I hear you're a fan of That One Band." She stopped removing items from the box once again, the older man now having her full attention. "I happen to have tickets."
"Two tickets; second row. Two weeks and performing three hours away."
Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open as she came to a sitting position on her knees. "No way. That's…awesome! You're just going to give them to me?!"
"I'll give you one," he told her with his index finger up. "Don't be ridiculous."
She gasped, "A catch!"
"Always a catch."
He grinned as he took a swig of his beer. "Is that any way to talk to someone who is offering a great opportunity? You may need to work on your people skills, Cassidy."
She sighed dramatically, glancing away briefly before giving him a questioning look. "You like That One Band?"
"You act like they're some teeny bopper boy band. It's pop punk and the lead singer stars in some of my favorite movies. I have the other ticket available, Cassidy. That's all."
'…He is up to something! This man cannot be trusted! But I love them and I've never seen them in concert and it's fucking second row!' She bit her lip and clenched her fists, obviously battling her inner self as Duke sat patiently. She closed her eyes and slapped her thigh, "Shit! Fine! You're so…infuriating!"
"You as well. It's a date, then."
Alexis laughed, placing a hand on her chest. "Ha! It will not be a date, Duke. Don't twist it and make it something it isn't."
He smirked, "Not even a little?"
"Not even close," she grumbled, her smile gone from her face. "You're making up for being an asshole and I am reluctantly accepting."
"Ah, I see." He came to a stand with his beer in hand, collecting the three empty bottles that he had drank. He returned from the kitchen seconds later with car keys in hand, "I have to get going, but remember to request the day off at work."
"That is impossible to forget," she answered giddily, prepared to brag to all of her girlfriends that were equally, if not more, obsessed. She looked up at the brunette, her smile slowly falling from her face as she stared at him. She didn't know what Duke was up to or why he was offering to her of all females in the world, but she couldn't bring herself to be her usual bitchy self towards him at the moment. "Look…thanks."
Duke's smirk became larger, "Was that hard for you, Cassidy? You looked like you were forcing out a shit."
Her cheeks became hot from embarrassment and she narrowed her eyes, "Just…thanks! Go do whatever you have planned and accept the only thanks you'll ever get from me!"
"Yes, yes, I'm on my way. See you around."
She didn't reply as he made his way to the door and out of her apartment, sitting quietly for a few minutes after he left her alone. What was she doing? She didn't want to be alone with Duke, but he was taking her to see her favorite band! She groaned. What had she agreed to? It wasn't the end of the world, but her plan to never see Duke again was crumbling right before her eyes. Alexis pouted to herself as she slipped her phone out of her pocket, sending texts of her concert plans to friends she knew would be jealous.
As always, reviews are appreciated! Apologies for any mistakes found!
So there will be no confusion, TITLE CHANGE is happening! It will be changed with the next chapter posting!