Hey y'all! Well it's been a long time so I'll just let you get right to it.


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Teresa's POV

Michael just stood in the doorway staring at my face in shock. I could only imagine the thoughts that must have been running through his head at the time. Could he be thinking that I had changed my mind and that I was here for him? I shouldn't have come to his house like this and so soon but Maria needed Kate and I couldn't get anyone else to do it. So there we stood, for what felt like a million years looking at each other and each refusing to back down. I couldn't get a lot out of his facial expression besides the initial shock at first but he kept his face devoid of any emotion as he stared into my eyes. He looked tired and I couldn't help but blame myself for doing that to him. Finally he spoke since I was too nervous to.

"I thought that we weren't meeting for coffee until Friday Teresa. This is a little unexpected." He tried to smile but it didn't quite reach his eyes and I saw right through it planting one on my own face.

"Yeah, I know we were supposed to meet on Friday but I actually am not here to see you." He looked crestfallen and then confused, scrunching his adorable eyebrows sort of like a little kid.

"What? Who are you here to see then?"

"I'm actually here for Kate. I thought that she might be staying here with you and your mother. But if she's not here then if you could just give me her address or her number then that would be great." I rushed through it all not stopping for air.

"Kate? Why do you need Kate? Are you friends too?" He still looked confused and I just wanted to smooth out those eyebrows and remove the wrinkles from the top of his head which were all bunched together.

"Oh, I'm sorry I didn't explain. I mean how crazy you must think I am, coming to your door and asking for your sister's number and address. I probably look like some stalker but I promise I'm not!"

"Teresa, I already know that you're not a creepy stalker. Now can you just tell me why you need Kate?" He looked even more tired as if the conversation was taking a toll on his health and energy.

My hand reached up as to caress his cheek just out of basic instinct and he pulled back as if repelled by me causing my hand to shrink back. I looked down too embarrassed to look him in the eye. "Sorry," I whispered my cheeks flaming. "Maria just got engaged to her boyfriend now fiancé and I'm supposed to collect your sister since Maria wants her to be a bridesmaid. I wasn't sure where to go but I was pretty sure that she might be here or that you would know. But I'm probably bugging you so I'll just go." I spun around, one foot already moving down the stairs.

"Wait, don't go!" Michael's arms pulled me back though and I lost my footing falling backwards. He caught me around my waist and I fell back against his chest my eyes wide open. He spun me around to face him, his arms still wrapped around my waist. We were so close together and our noses almost touched. Again my hand came up to brush a lock of blonde hair that had fallen into his face and this time he didn't pull away instead staring into my eyes. Once I pushed the lock away my hand dropped to his shoulder and just awkwardly stayed there. Both of us didn't move for like ten seconds the air between us tingly and not at all awkward. I couldn't comprehend what was going on between the two of us and I opened my mouth to say something or maybe pull away but he stopped me.

His face drew closer to mine his nose touching the tip of mine. And I knew that he was going to kiss me. Would I let him kiss me? Why wasn't Robby's face coming up in my mind? Why wasn't I feeling guilty this time? But I couldn't let this happen, could I? Did I want this or was I just lost in the heat of the moment?

Michael didn't give me a chance to say anything because his face drew closer and his green-brown eyes closed slowly. His mouth ghosted across mine and my eyes fell heavy shutting on impact.

"Michael what is taking you so long?" A voice called from inside the house. We jumped apart and I stepped back my eyes flying open. Michael was leaning against the door his breathing a little heavy.

"Michael?" A tall blonde woman with long straight hair that grazed her waist appeared at the door. She was wearing sweat pants that were rolled at the waist and a tank top just a tad smaller than necessary because I could see her belly button ring which had a sparkly green gem in it. Even casually dressed like she was I immediately felt self-conscious and smoothed over the nonexistent wrinkles in my own dress.

"Don't tell me that this is her," she said her voice icy and cold.

Michael cleared his throat before he spoke. "Please don't do this Kate. This is definitely not the time."

"No, she needs to hear this. How dare you date another guy when you are obviously entangled with another guy? I mean keep your men straight girl." She may have been British but her accent was just slightly apparent and instead she sounded almost like a New Yorker.

"You have no idea what you're talking about Kate can you just-" Michael tried to say but Kate just cut him off.

"No, Michael I will not be quiet. Do you know how enchanted my brother was with you just that first time that he met you? He called me to tell me about this spunky girl that he had gone out with and was thanking me so much for setting it all up and you know I thought that I had done something good by setting him up with Maria's best friend but you turned out to be a whore."

"Excuse me?" I said totally surprised and thrown off. No matter how much she thought that I had hurt her brother there was no way that I was going to let her talk to me this way whether she was a friend of Maria's or not.

"You heard me," she said cocking her head to the side.

"No, I don't think that I heard you right because you damn well better not be talking to me in that fashion when you barely know me as it is and have nothing to base this off of. Don't you dare stand there and assume that you know me because girl a bitch slap will be coming your way faster than you can call uncle." I placed my hands on my hips refusing to give up my ground.

We stared at each other the tension enough to kill and it seems as if Michael was receiving the effects of such tension. He looked so uncomfortable as he watched his sister and his what, friend, ex have a stare down.

"Let's invite her in Michael, I think that our guest has been waiting out here for way too long," Kate said turning away and leaving Michael standing there his arms raised in a 'come in' gesture.

I smiled as I entered pleased that she had gotten the message loud and clear and that there was no need for something to go down. Behind me Michael closed the door as I entered and it shut without much noise.

Kate moved very fast and was already heading up the grand staircase calling out behind her, "Come on Teresa, follow me before you get lost in this large house."

I was a little annoyed that she was treating me so but I climbed the stairs following her quickly. Once I got to the top I realized that Michael hadn't followed me up and was all the way at the bottom staring up at me. His eyes spoke volumes to and my heart couldn't help but soften at the tender and raw emotion displayed. Our eyes held each other before he smiled and then walked away into another room.

In that short amount of time I had lost all touch with the actual world and so when Kate called out to me from another room I jumped my hands flying to my chest.

"You can stop ogling my brother and come in now Teresa. You obviously came here for a reason and we need to get things straightened out so that you can be out of the door as quickly as you came in."

"This is not the time for a bitchy attitude Kate. I came here not because I wanted to but for Maria so shut the hell up with your stupid comments and let me explain." I raised my eyebrows daring her to say something else but she wouldn't because I had brought Maria into the picture however unfair that might be.

"Come in," she said opening the door to her bedroom and allowing me entrance.

Once I entered I saw that it was quite large and grandiose like everything else in the house. What did surprise me were the dark colors and themes that were played out in the room. I had figured her for the pink and Barbie kind of person but obviously that was not the case. Violet and black colors decorated the room and a king size bed was made with dark purple sheets and large pillows. On the walls were different works of art from black and white photographs to abstract paintings. The one photograph that stood out to me though was hanging right above her bed. It was a black and white photo encased in a large frame. The painting depicted a girl her hair covering half of her face. The exposed eye was wide open with an intent and malicious bold stare that bore into your own. A single tear ran down her face pooling at her cheek and leaving a trail. Despite that she still managed to hold a strong front despite her obvious pain.

"You like that one?" Kate asked coming up behind me.

"Yes," I replied still not taking my eyes off of the photo.

"Well thank you,"

"You did that?"

"Yeah, surprised are we?" I finally shifted my attention to her and found that she was highly amused. I smiled too since I had obviously stereotyped her.

"Surprised, yes, but I am really impressed."

"Well why don't we go and sit down." She led me to an adjoining room that was obviously used as an office. There was a plush sofa and other chairs as well as a desk and one of those chairs with wheels. Kate moved to sit in the chair behind the desk and I sat in the sofa sinking into the seat, now was not the time to act formal.

"So why are you here Teresa if you aren't here to crush my brother's heart more than you already have?"

"Look, I get it ok? I know that you won't let this go easily since he's your brother and you you'll always stand up for them. Believe me I get it, I have a sister myself. But you have to stop attacking me for what happened between Michael and me."

"I can tell that you're not over him you know. Whoever it was that you left my brother for better sit down and talk to you about feelings because I can tell that you're not ready for a relationship. And before you start spewing the crap that I know you will think about the way that you reacted when you saw him today."

"Kate, please don't make my head hurt anymore than it has already been hurting. I ended things because they needed to end ok? I only went on one date with him okay? One! That doesn't guarantee that I'm going to marry him and we'll ride off into the sun set in his Mercedes!" I was easily getting hot headed and falling straight into her trap.

"Then why are you getting so upset over this Teresa? If this was just a meaningless date why do you flush every time his name is mentioned and why are you being so defensive Teresa? I'm not asking that you marry him, I'm asking that you give him a chance and don't write him off."

"Are you really giving me relationship advice when you don't even know the situation? I've known Robby for years and because of a misunderstanding we weren't able to be together but now we can have everything that we weren't able to have and I will not have you guilt me into dating your brother."

"Oh I don't need to guilt you into doing anything that you don't want to do, you can do that all by yourself. From the way that things were looking you two were close to having a snogging session on the porch." She grinned wickedly and I blushed my cheeks flaming.

"This isn't what I came here to talk about Kate," I said sitting up in the coach.

"Well then, why don't we discuss the real reason that you're here," she hopped to the next topic without much fanfare and spun around in her chair.

"Do you know about Maria's condition?" I wasn't sure if she knew or not and by now I wouldn't have been surprised if she did but then again she might not.

"Yes I do, but not because she told me," Kate answered and by my confused expression she elaborated further. "I was at the hospital once and I saw her. This was before we even started taking classes together. I had heard some of her conversation with a doctor and figured that she had some sort of cancer. So when we both were in the same class I was drawn to her because I had thought that that I wouldn't see her again. But over time I learned that she was such a fun and vibrant person and so I just assumed that it was gone and that she had dealt with it. I'm guessing that it's back now?" she said all of this calmly and without emotion but I could tell that she was trying to hold back. The way that she handled it so calm and cool was so much different than I had, but then again I hadn't known.

"Wow…I don't know what to say. But since you know about that then you must know about Elliot?"

"Our professor? It's hard not to notice that they are obviously together since she is infatuated with him."

"Are they really that obvious?" I asked. If they were that obvious then he would have lost his job by now.

"No, they weren't really obvious or anything but if you pay attention then you'll notice it. Anyways what happened? Did something happen to him?" She looked genuinely concerned now.

"No, nothing happened to them besides that fact that they got engaged,"

"They what?" she asked totally surprised.

"Yeah, apparently since Maria's days are limited their getting married this weekend and our bride to be wants you and I to be bridesmaids."

"So let me get this straight; Maria wants to get married this weekend and she expects to pull off the giant wedding of her dreams in such a short amount of time?"

"Well she's actually leaving that to me but I'm hoping that you'll help me out since there is so much to do and I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of work."

"Of course I'll help you but couldn't you just have called?"

"First of all, I didn't have your number. Secondly this isn't necessarily something that can be discussed over the phone. But are you free today so that we can run errands and arrange the various plans for the wedding?"

"I can go but I have one condition," she smiled now and I was immediately cautious.

"What…?"

"Michael has to come with us." She grinned and my face immediately fell even farther than it already was. There was no way that she could mean that. Plus, what would Michael do the whole time? He would be bored out of his mind.

"No way! There isn't a purpose behind him coming and he would have nothing to do."

"He would be a third party that could give us a guy's perspective and that is very useful."

"You can't make him come!" I exclaimed feeling the urge to stick my tongue out like a child.

"I don't need to. My brother is in love with you and he'd love to spend anytime that he can with you even if it means doing boring things like shopping."

"He is not in love with me! You're the one that just said that I'm hurting him. If I'm around him all day then won't that hurt him even more?"

"No, because you will realize that you're in love with him too and all will be well in-"

"You need to get your head screwed on straight Kate. Michael and I are over and there is nothing that you can do or say to change my mind about it!"

There was silence in the room and I noticed for the first time that Kate was no longer looking at me but over my head. I turned around and saw Michael at the door his face a hard mask.


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