“Listen, Wren…” Phil puts his hand on your elbow. “Before we go in, can we talk?”
You stop and turn to face him. You were hoping to avoid this but you inexplicably feel like you owe him this.
“Sure.” You are looking anywhere but his eyes. He takes a deep breath.
“I was a wanker, I had no right to… to judge. I deserved your slap a hundred per cent. It was none of my business.” He shrugs. At least you think so, since the patch of the soft jumper on his sternum that you are staring at jumps up. He continues in a firm tone, “Whatever happened before the kiss is your life. You were right, I’m the last to place judgement.” Your lips twitch.
“That sounded rehearsed.”
“I might have practiced before a mirror. Couple… dozens of times…”
There’s a smile in his voice, and you meet his eyes. God, they are so warm, glinting, and you smile back. He places his hands on your shoulders and rubs a bit. Bollocks, that feels good. He murmurs, “Can we go back to where we were?”
“Sure, I was really hoping…”
His lips are on your mouth again, and bloody fuck! Does it have to feel so good?! But you already bodged it up once and learnt your lesson. You press your palms into his chest and gently push. He tears his mouth off yours. These are the sexiest lips… How did you not notice before? Or you did, but didn’t let yourself go there? And now they are wet, bright pink and slightly swollen from the kiss. Common, Wren, you need to figure it out quickly.
“I meant go back to being friends,” you mumble.
“That was friendly.” The smirk is lopsided.
“I am not one of your skanky muppets, Phil. Scale the pull talk down.” He gives you another smug smile and picks up a runaway curl. That’s way too far into your personal space. You feel heat radiating from his hand, and he twists the strand around his finger.
You batter his hand away.
“I meant we had lovely relationships before. Can we go back to that? All friendly and easy. You, me, Killian, pub…”
“It might be too late for it now…” He lowers his face to yours again and whispers, “I don’t want to go back to what we had…”
“Well, I don’t want to sleep with you.” Smooth, Wren, very smooth. And a total lie. Or not? Make up your mind!
He hikes up his brows and steps back. “Well, that was awfully direct.”
“You know me, Phil, what did you expect?” Which is coincidentally a very good question. What, indeed?
“Listen, Wren, I’ll be honest with you…”
The door to the room opens, and Killian sticks his head out. You squash down an impulse to jump away from Phil.
“Hey, Wren..” He sees he’s presumingly intruding, and he shifts between his feet uncomfortably.
“We are coming.” Phil closes the door into his face. “Wren…”
Alright, you admit your defeat. You really don’t know what you are thinking at the moment.
“Let’s talk later, alright? Maybe pub tonight, or something?” You bite your tongue to keep ‘it’s not a date’ to yourself. He stares at you for a second, scanning your face, and you feel the blush. Cursed pale skin!
“Sure, there at 7?”
Deadre Durinson is sitting on her bed cross-legged, reading glasses on the tip of her nose. She has her brother’s magnificent hair, gentle full lips and Killian’s brown eyes. She is reading Odyssey. Have you mentioned, you are in love with this woman?
“Wren, my love, how nice of you!” She stretches her elegant fingers to you, and when you take them she pulls you to sit near her on the covers. “How have you been, love? Haven’t seen you in ages.”
“Hello, Mrs. Durinson. Shouldn’t I be asking you how you are doing?”
“Oh, bless! It’s old news. I got torpedoed by this poor nimwit, but I’m in perfect health. I might have lost a couple hundred brain cells from all the scanning they did though.”
“It was just precautions,” Phil says softly, smiling to her.
“Between the three of you, fancy doctors, you would dissect me to make sure.” She waves her hand at him. “Philly, darling, could you fetch us some tea? I am sure they have at least one of those pretentious coffee shops in here.” Phil smirks. She turns to you. “Earl Grey with milk and sugar for me. Wren?”
He leaves with Killian in tow, and she picks up your hands. She is surveying you, and you blush again.
“You look a bit pale, my darling. Gorgeous as usual, but a bit tired. Have you been studying too much again?” You shift under her scrutiny, unaccustomed to anyone actually care how you look and feel.
“It’s the term tests time.”
“Have you been eating anything? It seems that there is even less of you since I saw you last.” Is she actually expecting an answer to this? You never know.
“Nevermind,” she says, suddenly drawing her eyebrows together. “I have a grudge to smooth out with you, young lady.” Oh no, which one of them talked?! Panic, panic! Don’t be an idiot, of course neither of them talked. “Last month, the swamp picnic…” Fuck, fuck, fuck! “You did not even say goodbye!” Oh all deities, thank you! You promise, you will never be a bad girl again!
“I was not well. I apologise though, I should have rung you.”
“Really? Sorry to hear that, love. I had a different impression though… Since my older, endlessly depraved son came home with a face sad as a wet weekend, I assumed there was a tiff.” Oh no!
“No, no tiff.” You smile the most unnatural smile you’ve ever plastered over your face. She lifts one eyebrow and looks scarily like her brother. Bollocks!
“You are good friends with Phil, my darling, I can see that. A smart girl such as yourself, you obviously understand that he is a lecher.” Good thing the aforementioned depraved older son hasn’t brought your tea yet, you would have choked and died just now.
She continues, “His uncle, God forbid, was the same in his age.” Oh my fucking God, can this conversation get any worse?! Probably not. “But they are just spoiled by all this attention. They think because they are lookers and have a long and complicated family name, they are entitled to a bit of… fun.” She wrinkles her noble nose in disgust.
And then you are ready to take your previous relieved praise to gods and deities back and shove it up your… Because she gently squeezes your fingers and says quietly, “But they have nice hearts. They can be loyal and kind. They just don’t know it yet. And you just have to give them a chance.”
Kill me now.