The flight back to New York is so uncomfortable and strained that I manage to forget about my fear of flying. Since our seats were booked in advance and the flight is full, I have to sit next to Anthony. At the beginning of the flight, he kept trying to talk to me, but after the third death glare, he got the point and shut up.
I know. I kissed him back. It's not like it's entirely his fault. But it is his fault that I was dragged to Florida. And it is his fault that he cheated on me for three years. And it is his fault that he's so damn attractive. It's hard to forget an ex-boyfriend when they look like they should be on the cover of GQ. And it's even harder when they kiss like the male lead in a romantic drama.
Subconsciously, I wipe my mouth, as if trying to erase the memory of Anthony's lips. I can't believe I was so stupid. I was finally getting over that asshole, and then I just threw myself right back into a pile of shit. And what about Seth? It's not as if we're officially dating, but I feeling like it's stepping out of line to kiss his best friend. Do I tell him what happened? Or do I make Anthony swear to never speak a word of last night and forget it ever happened?
I glance at Anthony. He's leaning against the window, eyes closed, breathing softly. I've always been jealous of his ability to sleep in absolutely any situation. There's no way in hell I'd be able to fall asleep while suspended in the middle of the air while sitting next to my ex-not-so-ex-boyfriend. But Anthony obviously doesn't let little things like that get to him.
When the flight finally lands, it's almost midnight. I have to shove Anthony in the arm so he'll wake up. "What?" He says drowsily, green eyes slowly opening.
"Oh, so I see you're talking to me again." Anthony smirks. "The silent treatment did seem a little immature."
"Are you really calling me immature? You're the one who-"
I actually can't think of anything. Besides the cheating business, Anthony is actually one of the most mature people I know. Hell, he's not even thirty, and he's the vice president of his company. In comparison to Anthony, I feel like an undergrad in college still trying to choose my major. "Nothing," I finally say. "And I wasn't giving you the silent treatment. I just needed time to collect my thoughts."
"Are they collected?"
"But you're talking to me."
"And I can stop at any second if that'd be easier." I sigh and run a hand through my hair. Even when we were dating, Anthony always managed to rile me up and push my buttons. "I need to ask you something very important."
"I need you to not tell anyone that we kissed last night."
"Christine, why would anyone care? Because of you, everyone thinks we're still dating anyways."
"And because of you, you're father thinks we're engaged. Nice going with that one by the way."
"It worked, all right? My father is sitting on this plane right now instead of drinking himself into a stupor. I'm sorry if this little charade isn't worth it to you, but my father's health is very important to me, so I'd appreciate it if you stopped being such a bitch."
My cheeks flame with heat. We're standing up now, trying to get our luggage out of the overhead bins. The space is way too cramped for this conversation. It's suffocating. "Did you seriously just call me a bitch? You're the asshole who-" I lower my voice "who cheated on me for three fucking years. You have no right to call me a bitch."
"Fine. You're not a bitch." Anthony grabs my bag and throws it to me. "You're just a selfish, immature woman who is so career-crazy that she let's her job affect everything else in her life."
"That's really rich coming from you, Mr. CEO-In-Training."
"CEO-In-Training? Is that the worst you can come up with?"
"Give me a minute, and I'll think of something much worse."
"That's all right. I'll pass." Anthony sighs heavily before turning around to face me. We're still stuck in the aisle, waiting for the cue to de-board. "But really, Christine. Why do you want to keep that kiss a secret?"
I bite my lip and look down. Suddenly I'm very worried that Anthony has telepathy and can read my mind. What would happen if he found out about Seth and me? He would probably call me the biggest hypocrite in the world. "It's private, that's all. And I'd like to keep it private."
"I don't believe you. You're a terrible liar."
"Well I don't care if you believe me. Just don't tell anyone, all right?"
"Are you with someone?"
"Am I-" I stutter, lost for words. I really am a terrible liar. "Am I with somebody? No, of course not. After all, it hasn't been very long since we broke up, and I'm not the type of woman who's just going to jump into bed with the next guy I meet." I'm just the type of person who'll get drunk and dry hump her roommate on the street.
"Of course you're not," Anthony says with a discerningly deadpan face. He runs a hand through his short, blonde hair. "Fine. Keep your secrets, Christine. Just don't expect honesty from me if you can't extend the same courtesy."
The apartment is dark when I walk inside. It's almost one in the morning, but since Seth is such a night person, I expected him to still be up. I sent him a text right before the flight took off: Be home later tonight.
I thought about adding a smiley face or maybe some kind of cheesy innuendo, but I felt cheap doing it after kissing Anthony. Thank god for my moral compass. I'm such a fucking Saint.
The overhead light in the kitchen is still on, so I walk towards it and open the fridge. There's almost nothing inside, but I spot a leftover tub of pasta. My stomach growls, and suddenly, I can't remember if I've had dinner or not. Deciding Seth won't mind if I snag some of his food, I grab the pasta and throw it in the microwave.
As it warms up, I check my phone for messages. Seth never got back to me, and my stomach clenches with anxiety. What if Anthony already told him what happened? They are best friends, and kissing your recent ex is a pretty big deal. I mean, normally I would have called Madison right away to talk out what happened, but I know Madison has much bigger problems to deal with right now than my crumbling sham of a love life.
The microwave beeps, and I grab the pasta and dig in. It's delicious, nice and garlicky. I must be chewing pretty loudly because I don't hear Seth walk into the room. I jump and give a startled shout when he says, "Hi."
"Sorry. I didn't mean to scare you." I turn around and my pulse starts racing. My eyes sweep over Seth's frame. I've only been gone a few days, but I seem to have forgotten how attractive my new roommate is. His dark eyes look intense in the dim room, and I swear I have to fight off a shiver as my eyes roam over his naked torso. I might have to put a "No shirt, No Kitchen," policy in place.
"That's okay," I finally manage to say. I can't help but smile. It's so good to see him. I stand up and take a step forward but then stop myself.
"So," he says, grinning. "I'm glad you're back."
"Yeah. Me too." What do we do now? Hug? Kiss? Shake hands? Our relationship is so undefined that all I can think to do is stand there awkwardly.
Seth takes the initiative to step forward. He walks towards me, and my heart starts racing. Why am I reacting like this? His dark eyes never leave mine. And then he's standing right in front of me. And leaning in. He's going to kiss me.
What do I do? Do I want him to kiss me? Yes, of course I do. But should I tell him about Anthony? Am I a cheater? What does-
But Seth doesn't kiss me. Not really. He leans to the side and places a lingering, warm kiss on my cheek. My face flushes, and I don't bother biting back my smile. "I'm really glad you're back," he repeats, his lips right against my ear.
"Yeah. Same." I stand there like an idiot until Seth finally sits down on one of the kitchen stools. I follow his lead and sit next to him.
"I see you've found my pasta."
I blush. "Yeah. Sorry about that. I was pretty hungry. Long day."
"It's okay. You can pay me back." Seth's eyes linger over my body. "Somehow."
"Good to know." I look down. Why am I being so unbearably awkward? I'm a grown woman. A grown woman with experience. But for some reason, Seth is throwing me for a complete loop.
"So how was the trip?"
"Long. Stressful. Tiring."
"Yeah. We got him home. It just took a lot of persuasion."
"Well I'm glad you were able to help. I'm sure Anthony didn't say thank you, but I know he really appreciated that you were there with him."
I'm not so sure about that. "I was glad to help. Vince is very important to me." I glance at the wall clock and my eyes widen in surprise. "Shit. It's late. I should really go to bed. I have work in the morning."
"Want me to come with you?"
"No. To bed." Seth's dark eyes are smiling at me, and I want to slap myself in the face. I can't believe I missed that play.
"Not tonight," I say. Tonight, I need to be alone with my thoughts and my pillow. "But we'll hang out tomorrow, okay?"
Something strange flickers in Seth's eyes. He looks confused or maybe just curious. "Sure," he finally says. "Tomorrow it is."
A/N – Hey look! I updated!
Thank you for all of the reviews, alerts, and favorites, and as always, I'm sorry for taking so long to write this.
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