©R. Biscuit

Chapter 9

Paxton Giles

He was glad to have had agreed to the Foodists' request to make a video with him and Georgina. He has been an extra in several Get Creative videos before but never as a special guest. The shoot included random snap shots of the group wandering around the busy Farmer's Market, but most of the time, the cameras following him, Georgina, and Theo—who was showing them around. Theo interviewed a couple of the vendors who he was close friends with.

Paxton remembered the day he met Theo in the cafeteria. Talie was so surprised and he instantly knew that somehow, she didn't just know him from the past. She divulged that she and Theo had a weird sexual relationship that didn't really last long. Every now and then, Paxton would think if Talie still has feelings for Theo—even if it was just fleeting.

He must admit, Theo is a charismatic guy. That's probably one of the reasons he easily got recruited as a talent through his gaming channels more than a year ago. How the guy managed to get in charge of a group specializing on cooking, he did not get. But obviously, Theo was good at what he does. He is after all an executive producer like Talie. Who knew food and cooking were his calling? A guy who started as a gamer personality to someone deeply associated to culinary now, that's an odd combination.

Paxton neared a stall with baked good made entirely with organic ingredients. The smell of garlic bread was apparent and his mouth water, but as he scanned around the products, he immediately grabbed one without thinking about it.

Lemon currant scones, and blood orange chocolate cookies.

Paxton was walking into his apartment at around eleven at night. His date with Georgina Perry went well, but he knew that she was hurting. He saw it in her eyes, and he questioned himself if she really wanted to be there with him. Georgina was kind enough to make it seem like she did want to be there, but her eyes were sad and she kept on looking back at her phone the whole night.

He took her out for dinner at a fancy Asian fusion restaurant that he knew she'd love. Georgina has the biggest appetite for sushi and raw fish, she was how he found his love for spicy tuna rolls after all. Georgina loved the place especially since he got them seats at the bar, so they could watch the sushi chefs create their masterpieces.

After, they had dessert and coffee at a café a block away from where Georgina's apartment is at. They talked, and she opened up about what happened in California. He was right all along. She was heartbroken, and he knew she was still pining over the guy.

But not as he planned, Georgina did not invite him over. He just left her outside her door. No goodnight kiss whatsoever, but after the first half of their date, he didn't really expect anything else.

Paxton got home, and smiled. Natalie fell asleep on the couch she was sitting on earlier with the television still playing that dating show. He knew she loved that show but to watch a marathon? She was probably obsessed. He took his shoes off—the boots that Talie suggested to wear—by the front door, and made his way towards her. He sat on the rug beside her, and placed a small box on the coffee-table. The box contained a twenty-layer crepe cake that the café specializes. The moment he saw it, he knew he had to buy it. It was a lemon crepe cake.

His head rested back on the couch's cushions and turned to the side facing Talie's sleeping face. She had frown playing on her lips and her brows were furrowed. His fingers soothed the wrinkles between her eyebrows, and travelled down her nose, tapping it gently. Talie's nose wriggled and he chuckled, but didn't stop poking her nose until her eyes opened. Grey orbs revealed themselves, they searched his face probably wondering what he was doing.

"Hey…" Her voice was low and raspy, the frown now replaced with a smile that she was always so ready to give him.

He smiled back. "Hi."

"What time is it?"

"Eleven thirty."

"That's earlier than I thought. I expected you to be back tomorrow doing the walk of shame." Talie scoffed.

Paxton let out another chuckle. "Nah, I'd rather be back to deliver a special package for my best friend, who's stuck at home watching—" He looked back at the television. "The Bachelor."

He didn't want to tell Talie how his date really went. Not yet.

"So what is this package that you needed to show me so bad?"

He opened the box and lifted the small plate that held the cake out of the packaging. He also fished out two plastic forks from the bag and handed it to Talie.

"Is that what I think it is?" Her eyes lit up and she sat up so fast that she sunk her fork in the cake before he can even comprehend what was happening. "Oh my god… it is."

"It is." He looked up at her. At least he can still make someone happy. For real this time.

Like minutes ago, he couldn't help himself from buying something he knew Talie would like. She was eyeing a set of hairclips and he didn't even need to ask before buying it for her. Talie didn't look too pleased with him but she didn't remove the little stars from her hair. For some reason, when he came close to her, he wanted nothing more than to close the gap between them. He missed his best friend, he reasoned with himself.

He just wanted Natalie to be happy. To be happy with him. He turned miserable without her always by his side, he realized. Paxton couldn't even comprehend how he survived all those months without her.

After paying for the pastries, he started to walk around and find where Talie had ended up. He saw a familiar blonde head in a crowd in front of a guitarist playing a song in Italian. Her attention was distracted by a couple a few feet away from her. He watched her and his heart ached as her eyes watered. She took a deep breath in as she willed herself not to cry.

The middle aged couple had greying hair with bright smiles pasted on their faces. The live music was lively and exciting, and the man held the woman close in his arms as he swayed and spun her around the concrete. The woman laughed out loud as the man spun her out and back into his arms. The crowd gathered not just from the foreign music but the happiness that the couple exuded.

Finally, Talie smiled and averted her eyes away from the couple and landed on Paxton as he neared her. He then lifted the two bags of pastries towards her. "Want some?"

But she shook her head and took a brown paper bag from her tote. "No thanks. I just bought some samosas."

"Talie," Suddenly, Theo was behind her and grabbed her arm. "Dance with me."

The couple a while ago was surrounded by others who were now also dancing along with them. Paxton looked around and saw the cameras that filmed Talie and Theo. Talie seemed to be uneasy but she still grinned politely at Theo, and danced playfully along with him. He agreed with the decision of whomever planned to film this. It'll look somewhat controversial, and it'll be good for views.

He watched them, willing himself not to show any sort of emotion. His hands were clenched to tight fists, trying to contain himself.

When Talie's eyes caught his for a second while spinning around with Theo, he smiled. He won't stop her, not if being in Theo's arms makes her happy. Albeit, she did say that Theo and her were not involved with each other, who say they couldn't? After all, they had a physical affair way back when. They had to have some sort of emotion towards each other if there was physical attraction involved. Who was he to stop them from being together? Sure, he doesn't feel good about it, not when his insides were twisting together.

"I can see the green eyed monster." A playful voice rang behind him. Georgina snatching the bag of cookies from him and grabbed a small piece. She hummed as the taste exploded in her taste buds. "That is delicious."

"My eyes are green, but I'm not jealous." He frowned at the thought. Was it what he was feeling? No, it can't be. He's just being an overprotective best friend. That doesn't mean he's jealous. "And can you just get a whole cookie instead of pinching off pieces?"

"Stop changing the subject, Paxton." Georgina huffed unflatteringly, popping another piece of the cookie in her mouth. "I'm leaving tomorrow and it seems like nothing has changed."

"You've only been here for a few weeks. Don't expect anything to change." His voice was grave and slightly annoyed. What did she want to happen? It's not like he and Talie can be friends again in a snap. Not when she's that mad at him, not when he didn't exactly know how he broke her.

"Sweep her off her feet. Do something, anything." Georgie pushed.

"I'm trying, okay? She just doesn't want me to." He rolled his eyes knowing how much of a hard time Georgie gave her now-fiance, Zach. But maybe she knew what she was talking about, she's been through it. But Paxton wasn't exactly looking to have a romantic relationship with Talie. He just wants his friend back. He just want to be beside her all the time, to be the one who makes her smile, to be the one she would look forward to.

"She does! She's just making it look like she doesn't." Georgina sighed. "Some girls, may seem like they don't want anything to do with you, but… I just know Talie is just hiding behind her walls. I've been there. I see myself in her."

"I really don't know what to do, Georgie. And what if you're wrong? What if she just really hates me now?" Fuck, he wasn't going to force Talie into anything.

"You made her like you once, how hard is it to make her re-like you again?" Georgina nudged his side. "Of course, you have to probably step it up. Somehow you did something wrong, so…"

"Great. Thanks for reminding me of my faults." Paxton spat out dryly.

All he knew is he wanted be in Natalie's arms instead of Theo Larson as he watched them swaying along in the middle of the crowd. He then saw Georgina prancing towards the crowd stopping for a second to wink at him. She neared Talie and Theo, and she tapped Theo's shoulder, effectively taking Talie's place. If Georgie wasn't a girl, he swore he can hurt her like the long lost frat-brother-wingman she's trying to be.

A step of confidence is all it takes, Paxton told himself. So he did. Before Talie can get out of the crowd, Paxton held her hand and spun her towards him.

"Please don't let me let you go again." He whispered as his eyes searched hers, trying to figure out how she feels.

Her grey eyes found his, looking for some sort of proof that she should not believe him at all. For a second he thought that she was leaning towards him, but her body stiffed and her upper body was inching away. Something in his chest turned heavy as Talie's guard never seems to let down even for a second around him. Her lips were slightly agape and eyes wide open though, as if she couldn't believe that they were this close—he couldn't believe it either.

"Did I really make you feel that way?"

She blinked, "What way?"

"What you told me a few days ago. You said, I made you feel like you were nothing to me. Did I really?"

She then pulled him away from the crowd and into an alley between a vintage clothing store and organic juice bar. "Paxton, why are you even asking me this? Is it because Georgina's engaged? You feel like you have no one else?" She released an exasperated sigh. "I don't want to be that girl anymore. I don't want to be that girl who you'll always run to when your heart gets broken, because I know better now. I know you'll just leave me again. And what happens if Georgina breaks up with her fiancé again?"

Paxton didn't answer. What would he do if Georgina broke it off with Zach again? Right now, he'd say, he'd be a good, supportive friend. That's it.

Did he really made her feel that way? A replacement? He couldn't remember how he acted exactly. Paxton had never thought of Natalie being his rebound friend when he can't have Georgina. "I don't want to leave you anymore."

She rolled her eyes. "I won't let myself feel alone anymore. I don't need you back, Pax. I really don't."

"I'm sorry, Talie."

"You don't even know why you're sorry, Paxton. Just… stop this. Okay?"

Not even a week after his date with Georgina, Talie had her stuff packed up and ready to go. She found an apartment somewhere in Brooklyn and she had to take two subway rides to go to work if she wants to. After all, traffic was always so bad during rush hour.

"You know that you can stay here no matter how long. I mean, you can always wait for an apartment to open up somewhere nearer. Brooklyn… I mean…"

"Paxton, it's just two easy subway rides to work, and three if I wanted to visit you."

"I mean… who's gonna eat dinner with me now?" He reasoned lamely. Defeated, not knowing how to get her to stay. He liked her in his home, he liked living with her.

Talie laughed out loud and wrapped her arms around him. "You've been eating alone before, come on, we'll see each other at work anyway."

He returned the embrace, holding her tight as if that would help getting her to stay. "I'll miss you as my roommate you know? My mom will ask about you."

Talie chuckled, "Mrs. Giles still thinks I'm your girlfriend? Not cool."

Paxton shrugged, "Bah, no matter how many times I tell her we don't work that way, she always changes the subject."

"Well you can tell her we've broken up."

"Right. Like that's going to work. You know my mom's such a snoop. I swear, if she meets you one day, she'll force me to marry you."

Author's Notes:

What! An update? How? Most probably because I'm procrastinating I have to be reading for school. But yes, I finally had "time" to update so hopefully I haven't lost any of you. But god, it's not going to be a few more chapters in but I couldn't wait for you guys to meet Mrs. Giles.

Thank you HeyyyitsPickle for following and putting this story in your favorites!

Review Response:

Hannahward: To be honest, I wish a character actually does that in the story. Maybe it'll happen somehow? Literally. Haha!

Chimel321: Wow! Okay! Are you psychic? I've had this chapter written down before I even updated last! But thank you for your suggestion. I definitely added a few more paragraphs that insinuates Paxton's feelings. Thank you so much!

Please don't forget to leave a review! Hopefully I get more time to update more frequently, but maybe not too soon because I do have a midterm next week. But yeah, I do take suggestions and criticism so please do leave them. Follows and favorites are highly appreciated as well!

Until the next update,

-R. Biscuit