As I had predicted, Amber asked tons of questions about the guy I spend the night with. I tried to explain that nothing happened, but she didn't believe it and told me to talk and not to be shy. I knew that sooner or later, she'd notice my emotional change, so I tried to explain that Adam had just taken care of me because I was ill, my friend was totally stars truck as she heard the 'hottie' who performed at the exhibition and at the club was our old classmate. The fact that a nerd like Adam Harris changed into such a good looking guy, amused her. But the fact that his character changed was more interesting to me.
I spend the next two days in bed, I slept or drew trying to distract myself, but whenever I slept I had dreamt of Adam and whatever I drew reminded me of him. Couples kissing, holding hands filled blank sheets and eventually the trash can.
Three days later I received a call from Mr. Harris who asked me to come to the museum immediately, his voice had sounded stressed, even alarmed and I was scared something happened to my art work. I got dressed and left to the museum right away. Finally it wasn't raining outside, it was warm and sunny, just like my mood. Even though I had wondered what Mr. Harris was so alarmed about, I was glad to get out of the house and distract myself, it was good that I finally had something else to think of. Adam should no longer be on my mind, at least not for a while. Since I still needed to gather my thoughts. Very slowly, I began to admit that I had feelings for him, but maybe it was just a tiny crush that I'd get over soon. So I tried to shrug it off.
But what if Mr. Harris had found out that I was in Adam's room? I shook my head, Adam would've surely not told his dad and even if he did, why would Mr. Harris ask me to come to the museum?
Once I arrived I could see a big crowd of people gather at the entrance. At the door I saw the secretary, she looked stressed, she creased her forehead and rubbed her temple.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
She looked at me and sighed relieved, "finally, we needed all participants of the exhibition to wait in the gallery."
The secretary glanced over my shoulder eying the crowd, "you better discuss that with Mr. Harris, he's in the gallery."
I nodded and walked inside, feeling a sudden nervousness, the secretary had looked alarmed and Mr. Harris hadn't seemed calm either. I was anxious to find out what was going on, and why was there such a crowd at the entrance?
As I walked to the gallery, I could already hear loud voices, it sounded like a discussion or actually an argument. Mr. Harris and the four other participants of the exhibition's stood in the big hall, gesturing at our art works.
The director spun around and met my eyes, he looked stressed but then his face lit up, "Ms. Thomas! I'm so glad you finally came."
"I tried to be quick, uh what's going on?"
The other participants continued their conversation while Mr. Harris grinned happily, I pointed over my shoulder, "and what's up with all these people?"
"Well," the director snickered, "they really stressed me out the past days."
"Do you have any idea, what a positive feedback this exhibition received?"
I shook my head.
"I'm the director since eight seven years, but I had never given so many interviews and received so many requests from the guests."
Mr. Harris grinned and pointed at the wall with my paintings, my mouth popped open when I saw the white little cards next to my pictures, with the word 'sold' on them.
"They are all sold, every piece of this exhibition."
I rubbed my eyes, not sure if I was dreaming or if this was just a prank. "All?"
"Yep," the director patted my shoulder, "6430 dollars, that's how much was paid for your paintings."
"Six…" I felt like I was close to faint, someone had bought my work! The museum would receive 50 % but that meant I had earned 3215 dollars! I couldn't believe it.
My mouth opened and closed again, it seemed my reaction amused the director. He laughed out loud, "didn't see it coming? What happened to that confidence of yours?"
"I…I can't believe it, who…who bought them?"
Mr. Harris pointed at the abstract ones, "these were bought by a young artist, who owns a gallery in Toronto." Then he pointed at the picture with the buildings, "this was bought by a woman for private use."
"What about the answer to violence?" I was curious to find out who had bought my favorite.
"I don't know, the person had send his secretary to pay, I think he's currently overseas."
Too bad, I wished I could find out what that person thought when he saw my work. "But what about all these people out there?"
"Oh that," Mr. Harris looked outside the window and smiled at the crowd, "since we had received so much positive criticism, our exhibition has become quiet famous, and people demand to see it before the pictures will be sold."
I nodded, "I can't believe it, this is amazing."
"You should be proud of yourself."
"Thank you Mr. Harris."
The director smirked, "you finally remember my name?"
"Uh…" I blushed, "I'm sorry about that…". But Mr. Harris just snickered and waved his hand in the air, "it's alright, though you owe me an apology for something else."
"It has something to do with Adam."
My eyes opened wide, so Mr. Harris knew I was in Adam's room. How had he find out? I glanced at the director from under my eye lashes, wondering what I should say, I could try to convince him that nothing happened with his son, but would he even listen?
"The bet.." mumbled Mr. Harris after I didn't respond, "Adam said the answer to violence would be sold, and I said it will be the abstract one, since both are sold. We have a draw."
"Oh!" I breathed relived, "how sad," I forced a smile on my lips, "sorry about that, but what did you actually bet on?"
"Well," Mr. Harris crossed his arms over his chest, "Adam thinks I work too much, he wanted me to take vacation."
"Well, frankly you look tired, I think a vacation would do you good, and what did you bet on?"
Mr. Harris' smile disappeared, "I wanted him to go to the hospital."
I frowned, "why that?"
"How well do you know my son?"
"Not that well," I admitted with a shrug.
"Do you know what happened to his mom?" The look in the director's eyes made me sad.
"Yes, I'm sorry about that."
"It's alright," mumbled Mr. Harris with a smile, "it's just that, ever since his mother died, he can no longer enter any hospitals."
I could imagine why he didn't, surely that brought back sad memories. Adam had said that himself, he doesn't enter any hospitals. I felt that he still couldn't get over the fact that his mother was dead.
"But…it's not like he's sick right? I mean, if he was he would see a doctor, right?"
Mr. Harris smiled wryly, but the smile didn't reach his eyes, "of course."
I was about to ask if he was sure about that, but before I could open my mouth, the director excused himself and walked back to the entrance.
I wished Mr. Harris hadn't brought Adam up. Knowing about the pain Adam felt for the loss of his mom, made it impossible for me to think of anything else but him. On my way back home, I considered going to Adam's place to ask him about it. Maybe he would tell me about his mom, but the memory of his behavior after I had mentioned his mother, stopped me. What right did I have to butt in?
College didn't give me any distraction, just three hours of boredom and annoyance, thanks to Felix.
After history class, I slouched to the campus. Josh sat at our usual table, with his head in a thick book. "Hey nerd." I mumbled and sat down. Josh looked up and smiled wryly.
"You okay?" I asked, eying the thick bags under his eyes.
"Yeah," his voice was weak, almost a whisper and that smile wasn't sincere.
"Are you sick?"
He shook his head, "no, but are you feeling any better?"
I nodded, "I'm great actually, I went to the museum today."
Josh flipped a page of his book, "and? Any news?"
"3215 dollars." I mumbled.
"That's the money I'll receive, they sold my pictures."
Josh looked up with wide eyes, "all of them?"
Finally his smile was sincere, "oh my god Jul! Congrats! That's amazing!"
I smiled enjoying this outburst from my friend, I loved him for his support, in a platonic way of course, "thank you Josh, that means a lot."
Josh closed his book, "you deserve it! This is wonderful, you can be really proud of yourself."
"I guess, I am."
"You don't look proud."
"I didn't digest it yet," I mumbled with a shrug, "but I am really happy."
"Who bought them?"
"Some art collector, a woman and some busy business man."
Josh flashed his teeth, "Julie Thomas, the next modern artist."
"Please," I blushed, "well, it's a success I didn't expect."
"Expect what?" Said Amber who stood behind me.
Josh lost the smirk and looked back at his book.
"Uh...my work was sold, all of it."
Amber squeaked and hugged me tightly, "this is wonderful! great, great great! Well done grape-head."
"Har har," I mumbled.
Amber sat next to me, with her back turned to Josh, "this is something worth celebrating! I will get drunk for you tonight."
I raised my palms"you don't have to do that."
"I do," chirped Amber and pulled me close, "and you will tag along."
With a sigh I raised a brow, "will Marc come too?" From the corners of my eyes I could see Josh's gaze jump to Amber. But my best friend shook her head, "nope, we'll celebrate you tonight. We don't need him."
"Josh? Will you come too?"
Amber was about to say something but Josh spoke up before her, "I don't think you'll need my company to get drunk."
"Yep," Amber agreed with a grin, but didn't even look at him. She stood up and patted my back, "see you at home." I pursed my lips with a frown, Josh looked back up and smiled the tiniest smile. Once Amber was out of sight, I sat next to Josh, "okay, what was that?"
"That," he mumbled, "was a girl named Amber who is also your best friend."
"Leave the sarcasm up to me and tell me what's wrong? Why are you acting so weird with each other?"
"We're not," mumbled Josh, but he couldn't fool me.
"Then why are you guys ignoring each other?" I crossed my arms and frowned, "you've been acting like this since the exhibition, why did you fight?"
Josh closed his book, "Julie, I think you sniffed too much paint, nothing is going on." He stood up , "we're not fighting."
"Right." I grumbled.
Josh patted my head and faked a smile, maybe I was a bad liar but Josh was definitely the worst liar who roamed the earth, "see you tomorrow, grape-head."
I stayed at the table for a while trying to comprehend what was going on between my best friends. But yeah understanding, something complicated like Amber and a nerd like Josh was well...as easy as breathing under water. I scratched the back of my head and decided not to think of this anymore, I shouldn't concern myself with their business if they didn't wish to talk about it. And besides, my mind was already full of Adam.
"Missed me?" Asked a familiar voice behind me.
I pulled a face, "not really, since I had just seen you in class."
Felix grinned and sat next to me, "why do you always seem annoyed when I talk to you?"
I thought of our last class where he called me dumb because he had gotten an A+ in the last test and my note had just been a B.
"I don't know, it just comes naturally."
"What are you doing tonight?"
"Why are you asking?"
Felix tilted his head, "what do you think?"
I frowned and tried to act stupid, was this guy really trying to ask me out? "Uh...I don't know."
"Let's go out tonight."
"But you owe me that," he smirked mischievously and leaned a little closer.
"Why would I owe you anything?"
"You just disappeared that day."
I shrugged and got up, "I don't owe you anything." Felix looked amused, but I was just annoyed. I made my way back home looking forward to a night out with Amber. I guess I needed a girl's night. Just finding something else to talk about or to do. I'd rather hear my friend talk about Marc than think of Adam or Felix.
Amber wanted to go to her favorite bar, and I didn't mind. Of course, I had tried to ask her what was going on with Josh. But Amber just reacted the same way he had and promised everything was fine. She was a better liar than him, but I still didn't buy it. My best friends were fighting, how long did they think they could hide this from me?
It wasn't too crowded in the bar and since I hated crowded areas I was glad about that, we spend the first hours with toasts on my art, we spoke of nothing but the exhibition and that was quiet surprising. For the first time in months, Amber spoke of something else other than her stupid boyfriend. Now that I thought of it, how come I hadn't seen Marc the last two days? Had they fought as well? Was Josh involved?
"Believe me Jul," said Amber with a drunk laughter, "you..will be the best artist on this pl...anet."
I, who wasn't sober either, nodded, "I will rock the modern art."
Amber pointed at me and smiled, but then her smile grew. She looked over my shoulder and giggled like a school girl, "ooh, your lover is here."
"Huh?" I turned around and saw Adam walk on stage, "oh no." I turned my back to him hoping he hadn't seen me.
"Why don't you say hi?"
I shook my head.
"Just a one night stand, eh?" Amber grinned mischievously, "should I say hello?"
"Don't you dare," I grumbled through clenched teeth.
I just shook my head again, "let's get out of here."
Amber sighed, "no I want another drink." She got up and stumbled to the bar. In my drunk stupor, I may have been a little loud, what if Adam had already seen me already? I mentally slapped myself for coming to this place, I knew Adam often performed in this club, why did I come here if I had avoided seeing him?
Wasn't it bad enough that my emotions drove me crazy? I already thought of him 24/7 couldn't he at least stay out of my sight when I wanted to get wasted? Why did this stupid guy have to torture me so much? I felt dizzy, but when I heard the sound of his acoustic guitar, my unease vanished, I rubbed my temple and pressed my head on the wooden table. More torture, awesome.
I gripped my gray sweatshirt's hoodie and pulled it over my head, maybe he hadn't seen me yet. So in order to stay hidden, I had to cover my purple hair.
Why did I always have to run into him? I know, a while ago, I wanted to see him again, so we could become friends, but now I wasn't so sure anymore. I still felt the need to be there for him; to protect him and stay by his side. But since I admitted that I felt more for him than I should, I knew just being his friend and giving him a shoulder to cry on, wasn't enough for me.
How likely was it to succeed? He wouldn't even open up to me, I mean he sort of did the last time I saw him. But it somehow felt like he was mocking me, or that he would never completely open up.
I shook my head, I shouldn't be so selfish. I had to forget about my feelings and just be there for him. He was having a hard time and needed a friend not a girl who'd burden him with her emotions. I groaned as he began to sing, of course he had to sing a song that I loved, "your call" by secondhand serenade. Did he do this on purpose? Did he have to sing such emotional songs to annoy me?
Amber was back with two vodka shots, she placed one before me and looked at me expectant.
"Are you really expecting me to drink this?"
My friend nodded, my nose crinkled at the smell of the alcohol. This would be my fourth shot, I had enough already. But since this was supposed to be a celebration, I didn't argue about it and juts spilled the liquid down my throat.
"Why won't you talk to Adam?"
"Don't wanna," I mumbled with a frown. Amber glanced over my shoulder, and sighed to the soft sound of his guitar, "he can really sing."
"My second favorite song," I grumbled and gripped my empty vodka glass.
"Well," Amber sighed, "how about another round?"
We drank more than I wanted to, I didn't dare to move around knowing Adam could see me. I knew every song he played, all of them were rock or indie ballads. Well Adam may have been a player with issues, but his music taste was great. At one o'clock, Amber finally decided to call a taxi, and I was more than relieved that I could finally go home. Since I could already feel the hangover that would torture me tomorrow.
We stumbled outside to wait for the car Amber had ordered. "Loose the hoodie," said my friend, "Adam won't see you here."
I pulled a face, "nah it's better to be careful." I sat on a bench that stood at the bar's entrance and sighed, I was quiet dizzy and nauseous, missing my bed more than anything. Amber stood on the side walk with a weird look on her face; maybe she thought I wasn't watching her, but I had. The whole night she spoke of nothing but my art work, I know she was happy for me and proud, but I also knew that she tried to distract me , she didn't want me to ask about Marc or Josh. I watched my best friend, seeing the confusion and sadness in her face worried me. How did I want to comfort Adam if I couldn't even be there for my best friend who I had known all my life?
I was about to talk to her, or at least try, since it seemed like I couldn't even form one correct word without laughing in my drunk stupor, but then the door next to me opened, and a beautiful woman walked outside giggling. She held someone's hand, Adam's.
I felt a stinging pain in my heart, and an emotion that I had never felt before, I was confused, angry, sad and hurt. I felt the urge to kick that woman in her butt and to tell her to leave Adam alone. But I knew, this was jealousy, and I had no right to be jealous. Amber had seen them too, she threw me sad glances, raised her brows and nodded towards them. I shook my head, trying to imply that she should just ignore it.
"Well, where exactly do you live?" Said the woman to Adam.
"You'll see soon." He smiled at her and kissed her hand, I was furious.
"Hey," I heard Amber whisper, she nodded towards the taxi that had just arrived. I took a deep breath and got up, fixing my eyes on the car, I walked forward but walking in a straight line was pretty difficult and my knees were weak. My head was spinning so I hadn't even noticed when my knees had given in. Before I even knew what had happened, I was on the ground already. This time I didn't faint, I just got dizzy because I was so drunk. The woman next to Adam gasped, luckily my hoodie was still on. Amber opened the car's door again, "are you okay?"
Thank god she hadn't said my name. I kept my eyes on the floor, trying to regain my balance, when I saw a pair of shoe's before me and strong hands pull me back up, "are you okay?"
Adam's voice, how much I loved it and how much I hated it right now. I kept my gaze on the ground. "Yeah," I had tried to fake my voice but failed. Adam still held me, I could feel him stiffen at the sound of my voice. Suddenly my hoodie was down and his face right before mine, his face was a hard mask. He let me go instantly and took a few steps back, "are you still sick?" He mumbled.
I shook my head, "just drank too much."
"Adam, honey, let's go!" Urged the woman behind him. Adam glanced over his shoulder but quickly shot his eyes back at me. Maybe I was hallucinating, but it looked like he was blushing.
"I uh..." He bit his lower lip trying to find out what to say, but I just shrugged and mumbled "bye." Before I entered the taxi.
"Are you okay?" Asked Amber.
I nodded and just wanted to go home.
A finger stroke my cheek and caused me to blush, my eyes were closed but I could sense the person next to me was male. His warm breath had a calming effect on me. I smiled wryly, wanting to feel more than this finger. I rolled onto my stomach and sighed, the finger traveled down my cheek, to the back of my neck, to my back, my waist and up again leaving goose bumps and a faint tickle under my skin. I could feel my bed shifting, someone climbed on it and sat down next to me. Big and warm hands held mine and pushed them down, so I was unable to move. The person moved closer and closer till I felt a hot breath on my bare back. I wanted to feel his lips on my skin. But he just leaned closer, until his torso was pressed against my back. Slowly one of his hands let go of mine and made its way to the mattress. His fingers brushed my waist so slowly that it was almost torture. It made me crazy I couldn't suppress a low moan. Even though my eyes were still closed, I could tell the guy on me smirked. Finally, his finger left my waist and slightly pushed my stomach up so that he could wound his arms around me. As he held me I could feel the soft contours of his muscular chest pressing against my back, slowly, he lifted me up gently squeezing the skin of my stomach. I sighed in pleasure wishing I could finally see his face, but my eyes were still closed.
I could hear him sigh, as he pressed his lips on my nape. I shivered at the touch of his lips, I loved the tingling feeling and the butterflies in my stomach. His lips traveled up and down my neck and I leaned my head back raising my hand running my fingers through his soft hair. He kissed my ear, his hot breath tickled but also made me moan again. Now I could feel the tip of his tongue on my collar bone, while his right hand traveled up and cupped my breast his other hand held my chin and moved my head around.
"Open your eyes, " purred a tender and warm voice. I blinked my eyes open and saw Adam's face moving closer, finally his lips met mine, finally I could taste his mouth. At first his lips were tender and his kiss was soft but it soon became more demanding, his tongue made its way inside my mouth and fought a battle with mine. I moaned in his mouth and he responded with a soft sigh. But suddenly he turned away, his face was a hard mask again. He opened his mouth but instead of hearing his voice, I heard an annoying, loud noise.
My eyes snapped open, I was in my room, but still dressed and alone... I looked around and grounded at my alarm clock. I hit it a little to hard and dropped back on my bed.
"God," I sighed and covered my eyes with my hand. This dream had driven me crazy and my body had reacted annoyingly strong to it, "just a dream?" I complained but then felt weird for even complaining. I never had such dreams before.
My head hurt and I felt nauseous, I knew I'd regret drinking for the rest of the week and made my way to the shower. Amber was just as grouchy as I was and barely said anything that morning, but that was okay, since I didn't feel like talking either.
We drank our coffee in silence, both of us in deep thoughts, I guessed Amber thought of Marc and maybe Josh? Of course my mind was occupied with that dream and the encounter with Adam yesterday. I was embarrassed, how many times had he picked me up when I fell? But how come he didn't pick me up as I had fallen for him.
This was annoying; I thought of Adam and how this beautiful woman was probably still in his bed. When I recalled the image of him kissing her hand I was furious again. As I went to college, I received a call from Mr. Harris. Telling me to come to the museum the next day to sign the contract for the sold paintings.
That was something I was looking forward too; not because of the money but because it made it official that my paintings belonged to someone else.
"Why the long face?" Asked Felix in class and interrupted my thoughts.
I shook my head, "nothing."
"Are you free tonight?"
"I want to go out with you," he stated with a grin. I felt like punching his stupid face but instead I just took a deep sigh.
"We all want things in life, but we don't always get what we want."
"Are you trying, to tell me I won't get what I want? Which is a date with you?"
I nodded, "that's exactly what I am trying to tell you."
Felix moved a little closer, "one day you and I are going to spend time together."
"Mr Chavez!" The literature professor yelled, "I'll assign the partners for your next project, so would you please listen?"
"Good, since you an Ms. Thomas have so much to discuss, you can as well discuss the project the two of you have to do."
"What?!" I yelled, no please. I couldn't do that project with this guy.
But our professor, hadn't even hear my exclamation and already moved on to the next students. I groaned and buried my face in my palms.
Felix smirked, "told you we'd spend time together."
I rolled my eyes counting the few minutes that were left of our class.
Being Felix' project partner was terrible, but when I received a call from the museum, my day was officially screwed. The secretary had called "I'm sorry, but Mr. Harris is in the hospital, he must cancel the appointment for tomorrow."
"I...Is he okay? What happened."
"A heart attack," mumbled the secretary.
"Wh...is he going to be okay?" I was alarmed, Adam couldn't loose his dad after he had already lost his mom. And Mr. Harris was a nice person, I was worried he wouldn't make it.
"I guess so," it didn't sound sincere, "well we will give you a call."
"Hang on!" I yelled, "does his son know about this?"
"I was about to tell him," mumbled the woman.
I cleared my throat, "Adam and I know each other, please let me make the call."
The secretary was quiet for a moment but then agreed. I clenched my teeth shutting my phone, I didn't have Adam's number, but I didn't need it. I wasn't going to call him, no. I was going to see him, I had to kick him into the hospital because I had a feeling that he wouldn't go alone.
I needed to be that friend no, screw emotions, screw wet dreams. And screw his hospital phobia. I ran to the street and whistled once I saw a taxi. I entered the car and named the address. I hope Mr. Harris was going to be okay, and I hoped Adam wouldn't worry too much.
A/N: Hey guys, I know I said the next update could take some time but meh...I was quiet inspired today. So yeah, Julie's dream. I don't know how that went, I never wrote any 'smut' before so I'm sorry if that paragraph sucks.
Thanks to JC for the review, and yep don't worry. Julie and Adam will run into each other maaaaany more times, otherwise this wouldn't be a romance fiction :P