Chapter 1
“You cannot put it onto a shelf” he said alarmed yet annoyed. was already heaving the plant with the big vase from the table.
“Trust me it will look good” she said.
“It will break the shelf” he said.
“It will not” she snapped back.
, put it down” he ordered.
“Shut it, ” she snapped and moved towards the shelf. was following her and once she reached the shelf he took hold of the heavy vase while she was not letting go. “Give it to me” he ordered.
“Hell no” she said.
“It is too heavy” he tried to reason her.
“You never value anything I say” she snapped causing to look at her uncertain. “Trust me, nothing will happen. This plant will just look absolutely amazing on the shelf” she smiled.
let got of the vase and stepped back. “Fine” he said knowing that it was no use to discuss. He needed to trust her… and to be honest, he also thought that it would look good. He just had the feeling that the vase was too heavy.
smiled at heaved the plant up and positioned it onto the shelf. She stepped back once it was in the perfect position and smiled. Standing next to they looked at it.
“You see? Perfect” she smiled. “You should trust me more” she smiled and winked at him.
“You are right… it looks-“
Suddenly there was a loud crack and the shelf broke in two. The vase shattered onto the floor scattering the earth all over the place. The little table below the shelf broke too, as well as the picture frames on it. ’s eyes widened when she saw the mess… her head turned slowly to her right. There was staring at the mess as well; his eyes about to pop out. Then his head also turned to look at her.
“Oops” she smiled innocently yet shocked.
“Oops?” he repeated. “Oops?”
“I-I-I didn’t expect it to be that heavy…” she said taking already a few steps backwards while. took a few forward. “You didn’t expect that?” he repeated.
“You should really quit repeating the things I say” she suggested raising her brows.
’s noticed the frown on his face. “I think… I go!” she said quickly grabbing her purse already running for the door. “Sorry, .”
was walking down the road right into the classy looking boutique. The door closed behind her while she made her way to the counter. The woman behind it was fetching something from under it. put her elbows on the counter and waited for the person to reappear.
“Whoa!” startled the girl. “You scared me!”
“Like always” winked .
“What are you doing here?” asked .
“I’m visiting my bff” she winked again taking a sweet from the bowl on the counter. “And…” she continued innocently. “I was thinking about her giving me a dress to wear to the premier tonight.” ’s eyes widened and she started to jump happily.
“You are not planning wearing one, are you?”
“Would I ask if I am not?” she asked cheekily.
“Ooohhh” squealed and walked around the counter to hug her friend. “I know exactly what you should wear” she beamed and walked into the other room.
“Nothing too spectacular…” called after her and just before returned she added, “and nothing with glitter.”
stopped dead track turned around to put the dress back into the room. She returned with a black one. “Try this one” she smiled and handed the dress to who was already making her way into the changing room.
“Who are you going with?” asked in front of the curtain.
“What?” asked .
“Who’s you’re date?” she clarified. stepped out of the booth and stepped in front of the mirror. was already kneeling down to correct the seam.
“I don’t know to be honest. Thought I go alone…”
“This dress shouldn’t be taken out alone” teased looking up at .
“Maybe I ask ” mumbled . “I mean, we are friends, right. He could do me a favour.”
“Oh, honey, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but ’s already taking someone else.”
looked down at . “Someone else?”
“He’s dating this girl lately. Haley… Actually she’s his girlfriend.”
“Oh” was everything that left ’s mouth. It’s not that she was jealous but it felt strange to know that was seeing someone else. She remembered last year so well they were made to spend the Christmas holidays together. And even though took him back as a friend she refused to think of him as a boyfriend anymore. The things that have happened between them were so vividly in her mind the day they reconciled, that she didn’t waste one moment to think about a relationship. That was a year ago, though. And so it happened that she started to feel attracted to him the past couple of months.
“You’re not jealous, are you?”
looked at who was now standing in front of her. “No… I just didn’t know that he had a girlfriend.”
“He really likes her” she smiled at who just nodded. “And she’s no Leni” she winked.
“Oh, don’t remind me of her” whined giggling halfway. “She’s a monster” she laughed.
“Why don’t you ask Rick?” asked raising her brows.
“Yeah, you know. Good looking, tall, light hair, piercing eyes… the masculine and hot break-dancer Rick.”
“The hip hopper?” laughed .
“He’s really nice” smiled already taking out ’s mobile phone. “And he told you to call him. And I wouldn’t call him a hip hopper. He enjoys dancing and looks very good. Jeez, he even dresses decent…”
laughed taking the phone out of ’s hand.
“Ask him” she smiled. shook her head and opened her phone. “Can’t believe I’m doing this” she mumbled and dialled his number. She waited once… twice… and finished the call.
“No one’s answering” she said.
“You waited like three seconds” snapped .
“He’s busy” protested walking away when tried to fetch the mobile.
“Try again!”
“Hell no!” she snapped feeling suddenly like she was having a deja-vu.
“Do it!” she called and started to chase her in the boutique. “Stop it, !” yelled and stopped behind the couch. “It’s my business if I call him or not.”
“You’re such a coward!”
“I’m noooot” she squeaked offended and suddenly the mobile in her hand started to ring. She startled and looked at the display. “Rick” she gasped.
“Answer it!” demanded .
looked angrily at and then opened her phone. “Hello” she asked not taking her eyes off her.
“Hey, , it’s Rick…”
“Rick, hi” she said poking out her tongue.
“You called me” he said shyly.
“Oh, ja, right” she stumbled. “Erm… it was just… I-“
“Do it” whispered eagerly.
“I was wondering whether you would like to go to a premiere party thing tonight…” She waited and it took Rick some time to think about it.
“Sure” he said. “I’d love to, .” She exhaled loudly and started to smile again.
“Shall I pick you up?” he asked. “Cause I don’t know how to deal with big premiere parties.”
laughed and rubbed her forehead. “Just be at my place at six” she smiled. “Thank you, Rick for coming along.”
He paused. “Thanks for taking me. See ye, .”
“See ye.”
And with that she finished the call. She put the phone down onto the couch and beamed at .
“Hot Rick’s taking me to the premiere” and both jumped up and down in excitement.
“What are the two of you cheering about?” asked who just stepped into the boutique.
’s got a date” beamed .
“Really?” asked in disbelief.
“Don’t be so surprised” mumbled and slapped his arm.
“Ow” he said holding his arm. “It’s just that… it’s been a long time ago since you-“
“Since I what ?” she asked putting her hands on her hips and her brows in the air.
“Nothing” whispered and sat down onto the couch. “So who’s the lucky one?”
“Rick” chanted looking with big eyes at who turned to .
“She’s happier about it than you are. Should I be worried?”
rolled her eyes. “It’s just a premiere. Nothing more and nothing less…”
“You know that everyone will be wondering who he is” stressed .
“He’s Rick. Just Rick-“
“Just hot Rick, if you allow” interrupted .
?!” stated .
“Don’t get me wrong, baby. I love you… and you are hot too. It’s just-“
“Yeah, I know, hot Rick” finished rolling his eyes.
“Right” beamed again.
“I gotta go” said rolling her eyes as well. She stepped inside the changing room to take off the dress. Once she stepped out of it already rushed towards her and held her mobile phone towards her.
“It says he’s looking forward to see you” she grinned stupidly.
“You read my messages? ?!”
“You were changing” she explained. rolled her eyes. “I take the dress thank you” and she switched the dress for the phone. She looked at the message and smiled. “He really is” she said to herself and for a second she forgot about . Maybe it was that way meant to be… she was now living a different life than he was and vice versa.
“There you go” smiled while handing the dress to .
“How much?” she asked causing to shake her head. “For free… just tell everyone you have it from ‘Butterfly Kisses’ by ” she smiled.
“I will” she smiled. “You’re going to be there too?” she asked her.
“Sure, I see you later. Make mama proud” she winked and clapped ’s bum when she turned around to leave the shop.
“Bye” laughed and made her way home.


Chapter 2
entered the room without knocking.
was already dressed waiting to be picked up…
“What happened to your shelf?” asked casually when he noticed the free space on the wall. turned to him rolling his eyes.
” he answered simply.
“Did she steal it?” he asked bewildered.
“She broke it” he stated.
“She put a vase on it.”
“She thought it’d look good.”
“Why?” asked again in the same bewildered tone.
“Stop asking questions” stated grabbing his wallet.
“Can we go?”
“Where’s your date?”
glanced at him when he asked another question but decided to just answer, “We need to pick her up.”
“I swear to God, one more ‘why’ and I will-“ but he got interrupted by his mobile phone. He looked at it and saw ’s name flashing on the display. “Hey” he answered.
“Thank goodness you answered… before you start yelling at me again for the shelf… I’m so sorry, I buy you a new one.”
“No need, ” he shook his head when he heard her talking so fast again. She always did it she was in a need of an explanation.
“Good” she exhaled. “Anyway, that was not the reason why I called. I think I left my wallet at your place. Could you please give it to me at the premiere tonight?”
nodded his head.
“She can’t see you” stressed .
“Yes, yes, of course” said out loud glancing at . “I’ll take it with me.”
“You’re sweetheart. Thanks ” she said and finished the call.

looked at . “Just friends” he stated.
raised his brows. “I didn’t say anything different.”
“But you thought it. I see it in your eyes… they get all shiny.”
, it’s just… it’s been a year since the two of you have reconciled. I know what you feel for her and everyone else knows but her!”
“It’s what I felt a year ago now we are just friends. I like it that way. We don’t have huge fights, I tell her everything… she tells me everything. That’s what friends do, right?”
“You haven’t told her about Haley” stated sitting down on the couch.
“There wasn’t a right moment” he said.
“You have to tell her. It’s getting serious with the two of you-“
looked at and knew he was right. Next week Haley would move into his flat and he definitely didn’t want to find out about that by seeing her toothbrush in the bathroom. He needed to tell her and he didn’t even know why he was so worried about telling her. knew how he felt about her, didn’t she? And she didn’t want him, so now she had to live with the fact that he had moved on.
“Come on, ” he said patting ’s knee to make him get a move. “We need to go.”

was taking one last look into her mirror and applied some gloss on her lips. Once she felt she looked okay- and thanks to her stylists she did- she turned around to grab her purse. It was six already and Rick was not here yet. But just when she started to get a bit nervous it knocked on her door and she hurried as fast as the high heels allowed to the door.

?” she asked bewildered when she opened the door.
“Wait-“ she said thinking back at the situation this morning, “you’re not here to kill me are you?”
rolled his eyes and stepped inside.
“No, I’m not” he said. closed the door behind him and turned around again.
“I just thought it’d look stupid to give you your wallet at the premiere” he said handing it over to . She thanked him for bringing it over and looked again at him waiting for him to say something but no word left his mouth.
“Is there something else you want to tell me or why are you still here?” she asked. “Not that I mind it’s just… I thought you need to get to the premiere-“
“I’m dating someone, ” he suddenly said causing to look at him. “I thought you should know before you see her at the premiere tonight. Her name’s Haley.”
Connor smiled and nodded her head. “I know. told me.” looked surprised although he should have known that couldn’t keep quiet.
“Are you okay with that?” he asked.
“Why shouldn’t I?” she responded raising her brows.
started to giggle and took some money out of her wallet. “Leni is something different. She was a monster” she laughed. “But I hope Haley’s not.”
She couldn’t ignore the thought in her head that was hoping that Haley would be just as bitchy as Leni because that would mean that she could convince not to be with her. But then again another voice made it clear to her that she really wanted to be happy.
shook his head. “She’s lovely. You will like her” he smiled and moved towards the door. “I’m glad that you feel this way, . You’re opinion means a lot to me,” he smiled and grabbed hold of the door knob. But before he turned it he looked back at .
“Are we having a beer tonight at the after party?”
started to laugh. “Of course, and now off you go” she teased and nudged him playfully. He opened the door and just when he wanted to step out another person stood in front of him.
“Hey” said the guy in his shy voice. “Is there?” looked at the guy and his brows contracted then his glance wandered to who was standing behind him.
“I’m here” smiled .
“Who are you?” asked strangely upset all of the sudden.
“Rick” said Rick and stretched out his hand. shook it but still felt a monster roar in his chest. “And what do you want?” he asked trying to keep his voice polite.
“Rick’s my date tonight, ” smiled over his shoulders. He felt how she pushed him out of the door into the hallway and she followed his example. Once she had locked the door she turned back to the men.
’s date, hu?” he asked.
is everything okay with you?” she asked looking at him confused.
took his glance from Rick and looked at .
“Yes” he said although he felt like nothing was okay.
“Mate,” suddenly Rick said. “My hand hurts.”
lost suddenly hold of his hand not even realising that he had still shaken it the whole time. “I got to go” he said to and made his way as fast as possible down the stairs. watched him leaving and turned to Rick.
“Don’t know what happened to him” she said and looked at Rick.
“Wow, you look-“
“No, that’s my part” he said and looked into the eyes. “You’re beautiful.”
There was a loud noise down the staircase and realised that had stumbled over something and just the next moment the front door closed again.
“Thank you” she said and blushed. “But that doesn’t change that you too look totally amazing.”
“Do you think All Stars are appropriate?” he asked looking down at his feet.
followed his gaze and started to giggle.
“Yes, if it makes someone looking like you, then hell yeah.”
Rick scratched his head looking at her. “Didn’t know if they would go with the suit.”
“They are” she assured him and looked closer at him. There was still his two-day-old beard, and his hair looked a bit messy yet combed and instead of a white shirt he wore a simple grey t-shirt.
“I had expected sweat pants, though” she joked and passed him smiling at him teasingly.
“Why’s that?” he asked confused turning around to follow her.
“You’re a hopper, aren’t you?” she laughed.
“Did you just call me a hopper?” he asked and followed her down the stairs. “I don’t even own sweat pants” he defended playing offended.
reached the ground storey and looked at him. “But I do” she said raising her brows. He shook his head and reached for the knob. He opened the door and looked at her.
“I hope to see them once” he responded and held the door open for her to pass.


Chapter 3

stepped up next to him and ordered a beer. Once the bartender gave it to her she leaned against the bar and looked at him.
“Do you want to tell me what’s wrong with you or do I have to guess?” she asked raising her brows. He took a sip from his beer and stared ahead.
“So are we not talking to each other again?” she asked getting a bit upset because of his behaviour. His head turned to his right where he saw her standing napping on her beer.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked raising his brows.
“Tell you what, ?” she asked and looked a bit helpless.
“About your boyfriend?”
“Rick?” she asked and pointed over shoulder with her thumb. “He’s not my boyfriend.”
“Didn’t appear to me that like” he snapped and stared ahead again.
“I asked him today if he wanted to come along with me. But you, mister, were dating Haley for some time now. So don’t pull that double standard crap on me-“ she snapped already standing straight. “It’s something different!”
“You’re right it’s different… because I’m dating him and you’re way passed the dating thing. She’s your girlfriend and you didn’t tell me. told me and I don’t know when I would have found out if she hadn’t said it.”
was getting up and looked at her. “I told you today in your flat that I was having a girlfriend and you just didn’t say one word. I thought we were telling each other everything again…”
? Do you even hear yourself? I don’t know why you are making such a fuss about something that’s so irrelevant.”
looked at her and shook his head. “Talk to you later, . Need to catch some air-“
He walked off and left behind. The evening had been great so far. She has had a blast with Rick who was so nice to keep his distance while she went talking to .
She had noticed that he was in a bad mood. Since they have arrived at the after party he was avoiding her. They weren’t much in touch during the premier so she didn’t notice but once they were all in the same club she realized that something was bugging him. He had kept his distance all the time. She figured it would be wise to talk to him and ask him what’s wrong. Bad idea as she now knows.
She felt a hand on her shoulder while she was watching walking out of the door. She turned around and found Rick behind her.
“Hey” he said and saw this guilty impression in his face.
“Is it my fault?” he asked nodding towards the door where had just left.
turned her head to the door when he nodded but shook his head when she looked back at him.
“Don’t be stupid, Rick, no, it’s not your fault.”
“He didn’t appear happy when he saw me standing in front of your door.”
took a deep breath. “It’s… a long, stupid and absolutely boring story. Don’t worry… we’ll be fine again” she smiled and looked back at the door.
“You want to go for some pizza?” she asked causing Rick to smile. He nodded and both made their way outside into a cab.
“Now that we are having some time would you like to tell me why he’s so mad?” asked Rick once the driver started to drive down the street. sighed and looked into Rick’s puppy eyes. “He thinks that you are my boyfriend. And he’s mad that I didn’t tell him-“
“But I’m not your boyfriend” he claimed looking irritated.
“Thank you” stressed knowing that he only stressed this aspect because he couldn’t find the reason for to be upset. “That’s what I told him too but he just… he didn’t listen.”
“And why were you getting all nuts?” asked Rick raising his right brow while a grin played on his lips. looked away from him… she felt like a school girl when he looked like that.
For some reasons her tummy was doing somersaults. She then realized that she must have looked really stupid snapping at and again her face turned red.

“I was going nuts” she stressed feeling stupid but couldn’t stop smiling, “because he was mad at something I didn’t do, when he was the one who actually did it.”
Rick contracted his brows. “What?” he asked helplessly when he couldn’t figure what she meant.
She turned to him now face to face.
“He accused me of not telling him everything when it was him who didn’t tell me he had a girlfriend. We are not together” she said waving her hand a few times towards him and then back to herself, “so there was no reason why I should tell him who was my date for tonight. But Haley… Haley’s his girlfriend and he didn’t tell me. That is so double standard!”
She said angrily and looking ahead again. A few seconds later she heard Rick laughing and she looked at him hesitatingly. “What’s so funny?” she asked.
“You look so cute when you’re getting angry” he chuckle looking at her with this irresistible eyes. suddenly started to giggle as well. She rubbed her forehead feeling stupid.
“I’m sorry” she moaned still with a smile on her face. “I didn’t want to bug you.” He shook his head. “You didn’t, .” She felt how his hand touched hers and all she could respond to it was a quick smile. She looked ahead again and waited for the cab to reach the pizza parlour.

“Why are we leaving?” asked Haley when led her towards the black car. “And why were you fighting with that girl?” she added irritated. sighed.
“That girl was ” he answered once they were sitting in the car. He rubbed his forehead when he felt how the car started to move out of the parking lot. “And why were you fighting?” she asked again.
looked at her opening his mouth. He waited a bit until he figured how to put the words right. “She was dating someone and I didn’t know-“
“So?” she asked.
“It just- It was stupid. She could have told me” he stressed.
“Well are you guys that close that she should have told you?” she asked taking his hand. He shrugged his shoulder. “Yes… no… yes- I don’t know, Haley.”
“You didn’t tell me anything about her.”
“Because there’s nothing to tell” he stressed looking out of the window.

“I didn’t mean to offend you or something all I’m saying is that it’s very strange when she’s the only one of your friends I haven’t met yet. But still you’re thinking that she is that close of a friend that she should have told you about her date. Don’t you think it’s unfair? You didn’t introduce your girlfriend to her but you expect her to introduce her date to you. It’s a bit of double standard, isn’t it?”

looked at her and rolled his eyes. “Why are you girls always talking about double standards?”
Haley started to giggle and snuggled onto his arm. “All I’m saying is that if she’s really a friend than don’t be mad at her for not telling. In this case you weren’t much better.”
looked at her and kissed Haley’s hair. “Do you have to be that… arbitrating?”
“That’s why you like me” she winked and stole a kiss. “Let’s go home” she smiled.
“I got a better idea” he smiled at her. “How about some pizza?”

held her stomach laughing so hard. She felt like she was going to die… she couldn’t breathe, she was laughing too hard. Rick had just told her the story behind the reason why he didn’t own any sweat pants anymore.
“You’re kidding, right?” she asked after she could breathe somehow normally. Rick shook his head still chuckling. “I swear, I’m not.”
“You flashed on stage?” she giggled.
“Can you imagine how loose these pants are and how fast our dance was? It was like the first moment you’re doing a spin on the floor and the next you’re jumping up realising you stomped on your pants and caused them to be pulled down your legs. It was embarrassing” he chuckled thinking back at this moment of his life.
“That day I’ve binned all my sweat pants… I only wear trousers with buttons since.”

laughed again. “You’re amazing, Rick, honestly!”
Rick looked at her and smiled. “You’re too.”
’s laughed slowed down a bit before the picture of him losing his pants popped up in her head again. Then she started to laugh even more- but it died down immediately when she caught someone’s eyes. This person was standing in front of the window glancing inside and when he realised she was seeing him he started to walk passed the parlour. “Excuse me, please” she said and got up. She headed for the door and opened it forcefully. She saw him supporting Haley to sit down into the car.

!” she called and walked over to him in her heels. She was cold as she was only wearing her black dress but she didn’t care.
turned around and shut the door to the car meeting halfway. He didn’t want Haley to listen.
“What was that supposed to be?” she asked angrily. “Are you that upset about Rick that you’re not even able to be in the same room with me?”
“Why did you bring him to our pizza parlour?” he asked and could tell that he was really upset.
“No, it was my pizza parlour and I took you there and then it became our parlour but now I think I have the privilege to call it my own again!”
“What?” he asked contracting his eyes. “You cannot call it your own.”
“I can’t? I think I just diiiihiiid!” she sang angrily.
“Do you always take your dates there? I would really like to know how many guys you’ve taken there already?!”
bended forward angrily and pointed her finger on him. “None of your damn business!”
glanced over her shoulder and saw Rick coming down the stairs that lead to the pizza parlour.
“I think you should get back to your date, ” he turned around and stomped back the car. watched him angrily walking away. “Yeah, and you get back to your girlfriend!”
Then she heard him smashing the door into the lock and driving away. Her chest was rising up and down because she was so angry. This situation was not making any sense to .
She didn’t even know why he was angry. It seemed so stupid to her that he was angry that she was dating Rick. Once again and for the second time this evening she felt a warm hand on her shoulder and soon enough she felt how cloth warmed suddenly her body. Rick had put his jacket over her shoulder and was standing in front of her in his grey pullover. made a mistake this afternoon… it was no t-shirt it was a pullover.
She looked up at him-
“Sorry that you saw this” she smiled wearily. “I’m not always- crazy but today it’s like the crazy day. Sorry” she said once more but he just shook his head.
“It’s fine” he smiled and put his arm around her. “Let’s get the pizza and I take you home” he smiled.
Rick was carrying the pizza and walked next to him. It was really cold and she was thankful for his jacket though she felt sorry for him only walking around in this thin grey pullover. “You sure you don’t want your jacket back?” she asked.
“Nah” he said shaking his head casually. He looked very sexy when he did this…
“Thank you for walking me home, Rick” she said in a low voice. The distance from the parlour to her flat wasn’t that big but still he was doing it and felt very thankful.
“You think I let you walk home alone? At half eleven at night?” he asked stressing each and every word on purpose. She giggled again…
They continued they walk and ten minutes later they were standing outside ’s front door.
The wind blew right into her face and she felt again very lucky to be wrapped in his jacket. “That’s it” she smiled looking at him. “Thanks again for walking me home” she smiled and slid the jacket off her shoulders. She handed it to Rick who took it and smiled. “It was a nice day, ” he smiled.
raised her brows. “Yeah, nice” she smiled. Is it stupid that she hoped for a little kiss? It’s been some weeks ago that she had kissed someone who was not involved in the same film or business so she kind of hoped that tonight might be a chance to be kissing someone again.
They both stood in front of the door in silence until Rick finally started to move and hugged her.
Hoping that the disappointment was not that visible she hugged him back and smiled when he stood in front of her again. “See ya.”
He waved his hand once more before he turned around and walked down the path to the street.
“Bye” whispered watching him walking it down.
Once he turned around the hedge he was out of sight and ’s heart got heavy. She so has longed for a kiss… and before she realized what she was doing her legs were already walking down the path.
“Rick” she called after him. He turned around immediately and looked at her. “Do you- do you want to come upstairs with me?” she asked feeling uncomfortable yelling it in the streets. Rick started to chuckle and shook his head. It was like someone grabbed her heart and punched her face at the same time. He really said no.
“No” he smiled.
“But-“ she said in a low voice feeling sad and stupid. She put a smile on her face again and nodded bravely. “Okay.”
Suddenly he started to laugh and didn’t know whether she should feel sad, stupid or angry. She heard footsteps coming closer and when she looked up from the ground Rick was standing in front of her.
“Don’t think that I don’t want to” he said looking in her eyes. “It’s just… if I go upstairs with you we don’t know how things will turn out. Maybe we will do things we will regret or we’ll be moving things to fast. This way we can take step by step… like dancing.”
felt like her knees were about to give up. She smiled up at him and suddenly she felt how his stubbles touched her soft cheek. He kissed her on her cheek and smiled once more into her eyes before he turned around and walked away.


Chapter 4

stumbled over to the door when she had heard the wild knocking about a minute ago. She had just woken up and was not really in the mood for visitors.
She opened the door and looked into ’s wide shining eyes.
“Morning” she chanted already making her way into her flat.
“Come in, ” she said sarcastically to the spot in front of the door where had just stood.
“Tell me everything” she smiled super excited.
“About what?” she asked.
“Rick!” she beamed holding the cup of coffee she had brought from Starbucks towards while she sipped on her own.
took it and dropped down onto the couch.
“Well it was nice” she smiled taking a sip of the coffee.
“Just nice?”
giggled and looked at .
“Okay, it was very nice. It would have been better if hadn’t ruined my mood a few times.”
raised her brows. “Yeah, I’ve heard about that-“
“What did you hear?”
“He had been in the boutique for breakfast and he told us about yesterday.”
“What exactly did he tell you?”
looked uncomfortable around. “I don’t think I can tell.” “!” she demanded getting up when she saw that was about to jump up to make her way towards the door.
She positioned herself in front of it when was already heading for it.
“Tell me!”
“Fine!” she snapped and backed away into the kitchen. followed her.
“He said that he was very mad at you for not telling him that you were dating someone.”
“And what did you say?” she asked.
“That he is no better because of Haley… and then we fought because he was mad at me for telling you about her .”
“That’s so ” hissed contracting her eyes.
“Anyway… he thinks that you are keeping everything secret above all when it comes to relationships and dates.”
“But that’s no reason for being angry at me.”
shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know what’s up with him. Maybe it was just the shock that he had seen you with someone different- He hasn’t for a very long time you know.”
“But that’s no reason. He hurts my feelings if he acts like this.”
looked pitiful.
“Maybe he doesn’t realise that.”
“Of course he doesn’t. He’s a man!” snapped turning her back at .
“I just don’t get why he’s making such a fuss about it. We got along so good the past year, you know. No fights… no yelling. And now he’s ruining everything because of something stupid.”
“Talk to him.”
“I tried…” she said turning back at her. “He got mad and left the party. I’m not going to talk to him if he’s behaving like a seven-year-old.”
got up from the couch and walked over to her. Placing a hand on her shoulder she started to say, “, I know you for a very long time now. I know how stubborn you are… but… don’t let things get in the way between you and again. Explain… talk to him like you would talk to a seven-year-old. Please.”
She nudged ’s shoulder once more before she turned around and walked out of the flat. still stood at the spot where had left her. ‘Talk to him like you would talk to a seven year old’ she heard herself recalling. She shook her head and went into the bathroom for a hot shower.
came into the living room seeing Haley standing in front of the wall. “What happened to your shelf?” she asked. turned around again to head into the kitchen.
“I broke it” he said.
“How did you break it?” she asked confused.
“I put a vase on it” he said taking a sip from his coffee.
“Why would you do that?” asked Haley amused.
“Thought it’d look good” he shrugged his shoulders winking at her and made his way into the kitchen.
She followed him and took hold of her mug that was on the kitchen bar. “So what are we going to do today?” she asked raising her brows.
“Don’t know. Thought we might-“
got interrupted by the door bell. He excused himself and went for the door.
“Don’t slam the door into my face, just listen.”
got herself access and made her way into the living room. She put the scarf from her neck and tossed it onto the couch while talking. “I know you’re mad at me for some reason but I don’t want you to think you have any right for it. Rick’s a friend and nothing more… and if you can’t understand it that I need some privacy then I’m very sorry, . Look at me, I’m not mad at you for not telling me about Haley. I could but I’m not. And you want to know why? Because I’m not a seven-year-old child playing kindergarten.”
She looked at him with her brows in the air. Seeing standing in front of her perplexed her glance wandered to the door frame where Haley stood. She lifted her right hand and said a shy “hi”.
looked back at and suddenly felt very stupid.
“Hi” she said back. She hesitated one moment before she moved forward and offered Haley her hand. “” she smiled uncomfortable.
“You know me” smiled Haley. “I’m Haley.”
“Right” said in a low voice turning to again.
“Hales, could you leave us alone for a moment?” he asked and Haley nodded and turned around closing the door behind her.
“What was that?” he asked .
“You’re mad at me” stressed . “And I want to straighten things out.”
“By rushing into my flat and talking stupid stuff?”
contracted her brows. “ told me that you think I keep everything secret and that you are mad because of Rick.”
“She can’t keep quiet, can she?”
“I forced her to tell me!” she snapped when she felt how got upset again.
“And can you blame me for thinking this way?” he asked back. “We were so close the past year and then I find out about him and you ruin everything-“
raised her brows and waved her hands wildly towards the door. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
“I didn’t start that!” she yelled.
“Don’t bring Haley into this” he said in a low voice.
, I don’t know why you are so furious about Rick. You’ve got Haley and he’s someone I date… what the hell is wrong with you?”
breathed out loudly. He didn’t want to be angry but something in his chest was roaring and he wanted her to feel that he was not okay with her dating Rick. He didn’t himself understood why he was making such a fuss about it but… the moment he saw that Rick in front of ’s door it felt like a knife in his heart.
There was someone else she spent now time with… and that someone was not . Before he knew what he was thinking the words already slipped out his mouth.
“I don’t want to fight with you” he finally said.
“Then don’t” claimed looking desperately at him. “Do you keep on dating Rick?” he asked as calm as possible.
“It’s possible, yeah.”
rubbed his head. This conversation might lead totally into the wrong direction. He needed to change the subject. “I want you to get to know Haley.”
“Say what?” asked surprised.
“I know I should have told you sooner about her so that’s why I want you to get to know her.”
looked around uncomfortable. “I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.”
“Why?” he asked.
“Because I’m your ex girlfriend and she’s your girlfriend.”
“She doesn’t know that you are my ex-“
raised her brows in disbelief. “She doesn’t know? !”
“It’s not important” he claimed looking at her and added a “Not that you’re not important” after he saw her upset face expression.
“I didn’t tell her because I didn’t want her to feel threatened.”
“Yeah you know… you’re the ex” he stressed.
“The ex?” she pronounced it just the way he did and looked at him.
“I can’t explain” he said and turned around. “Anyway” he added not letting her answering, “I’m off to a photo shoot today and maybe you can hang out with her a little bit.”
“I’ve got stuff to do” answered a bit hesitant.
“What stuff?”
“Stuff” she said not knowing what to say. Of course she didn’t have any plan for today but imagining to spend a day with ’s girlfriend was not really in her top ten.
?” he asked hopefully. “It would mean a lot to me if you could spend some time with her. You’re my best girl friend and I would love you two to get along.”
She looked into his puppy eyes and rolled her eyes. “I think I can postpone some stuff I wanted to do.”
“Thank you” he said and took her scarf into his hand. He threw it into her direction smiling at her cheekily. “But I want you two out of here.”
contracted her eyes. “Why?”
“Because when I come back I want my flat to look the way I had left it.”
inhaled shocked. “I so told you I didn’t move your cupboard.”
, I left you ten minutes alone and the cupboard was in the middle of the hallway… I don’t even know how you moved it!” he laughed.
“It so wasn’t me” she defended herself trying to suppress the giggle. She followed out of the living room and down the hallway into the kitchen.
“And if I leave you and Hales alone only God knows how many things you will move. After all she moves in next week-“
stopped dead track when he said those words. “She moves in?” she asked when a moment later Haley appeared in the kitchen. didn’t seem to have heard her and told Haley about ’s plan to take her out today.
“Cool” she smiled and looked at . “I’m looking forward to it.”
swallowed the sudden sad feeling inside her chest and smiled back half-heartedly. “Me too” she smiled. “Can I pick you up at let’s say… four o’clock?” Haley smiled and nodded. “Sure, I’ll be waiting.”
“Fine” smiled back. “I gotta go now… stuff to do, you know.”
“See ye” she said and rushed out of the flat.


Chapter 5

She slammed her purse onto the counter on the boutique and rang the stupid bell for the hundredth time. “!” she hissed.
“Okay, this is still a boutique and not a fast food restaurant.”
“She’s moving in!”
“What?” asked confused.
“Haley’s moving in with !”
look guiltily at the floor. “You knew it? You really knew it?”
grabbed her purse again and moved towards the door. ran towards it and blocked it.
“Don’t run away” she begged.
“You didn’t tell me” she stressed.
“You want to pull a ?” asked contracting her brows. moaned and moved towards the couch. She put down her purse and took off her coat.
“Are you okay?” asked sensing that felt kind of sad.
“I should be, shouldn’t I?” she asked. “But ’s moving in with another girl.”
nodded and put her hands into her jeans pockets. “You’re not happy about it, are you?”
“I don’t know. When he told me it felt like a knife in my heart you know.”
“Do you still have feelings for him?” asked raising her brows suspiciously.
“No…!” argued not looking at her.
“You do” claimed shocked.
“I don’t have feelings for him” stressed this time looking straight into ’s eyes. “It’s just… strange. You know, he was my boyfriend and the past year had been amazing. It felt like things were going back to normal and I’m not going to lie… I pictured us together but then I figured that it would be too weird after everything that had happened. And now… I mean I can deal with a girlfriend I think. But a girlfriend who’s moving in is way too much to handle right now. I don’t know her… what if I hate her. But loves her and then we can’t be friends because I don’t like his girlfriend. I mean moving in is the first step, right. Soon comes the engagement and the marriage-“
“Hang on, !” interrupted when noticing that she started to talk way too fast again. “Who said a thing about marriage. and I moved together two years ago… and we’re not engaged.”
“Well then I would ask where the hell his problem is?!” stated still feeling insecure.
looked at for another moment.
“Do you think he’s never going to ask me?” asked feeling insecure right now. snapped back into reality and looked at her friend. “Sorry, . Of course he’s going to ask you… I didn’t want to sound it like that. I’m stupid, you’re right. They are just moving together… no one said anything about an engagement or something.”
smiled again and nodded her head. “There you go. Don’t worry about . He knows what to do…”
“Oh, I doubt that. Remember Leni?” asked . “Haley’s not Leni” stated looking in the eyes.
“Well I can make sure of that today” whined .
“What do you mean?”
asked me to hang out with Haley a bit. We’ll see if she really is the good one” she stated taking hold of her purse.
“You’re not going to do anything stupid, are you?”
“No… I’m just saying. We need to check up on her… I mean, I don’t want to waste time with her, you know.”
raised her brows. “Don’t do anything stupid. Promise!” rolled her eyes and lifted one hand. “Promise.”
nodded her head approvingly. “Where are you going now then?” she asked when moved towards the door.
“Home” she simply answered and made her way out of the boutique after telling goodbye. She was walking down the street when her mobile phone suddenly started to ring. She opened it and her heart skipped a beat. A message from Rick:

Guess what? I’ve got a job! A dancing job! Don’t worry I’ll be wearing clothes ;P Going to be supporting a band on tour. Whatcha saying? ;)

smiled at her phone and dialled his number.
“You read it pretty fast” she heard him saying on the other line.
“I feel honoured you told me… didn’t know you were having an audition or something” she giggled.
“I didn’t. I know the choreographer and she asked me if I wanted to do it and I told her yeah” he chuckled.
“I’m happy for ye” responded . “So who’s it going to be? Girls Aloud or maybe Sugababes?”
There was suddenly a change of mood and felt it. She heard Rick clearing his throat. “See, that’s the other thing.”
waited for him to talk. “It’s Westlife.”
“They’ve got dancers? Male dancers?”
“You’re not worried?” he asked.
“About what?”
smiled and shook her head. “No… I’ve talked to today. Guess he’s okay now with you and I-“
paused not knowing what to say.
“You and I what?” asked Rick cheekily.
“Dating?” she asked.
“So we’re dating?” he asked and still heard that cheeky tone that made her blush.
“Aren’t we?”
“I told you about the job, didn’t I? I think we pretty much are” he chuckled and felt how a weight had been put off her shoulders.
“Great” she smiled. “So are we dating tonight?” she asked innocently.
“Don’t ask me out on a date, please” he moaned and felt a bit taking aback. “It’s a guy’s thing” he added and made smile again.
“Okay, then are you going to ask me?” she asked giggling.
“I am” he stated. “Do we see each other tonight?” he asked.
“I’m not so sure” stated before she started to giggle again. She honestly felt like a school girl every time she talked to Rick. “Of course. Let’s say ten o’clock.”
“Ten o’clock at your place. I’m gonna teach you some moves” he joked and giggled again before she finished the call.

At four o’clock sharp rang ’s bell. She felt stupid walking into the flat without him being there but just Haley. A moment later Haley was coming through the door looking at sweetly. “ told me, that he wants us out of the flat” she smiled.
“Yeah, he kind of has this strange paranoia that we would move some furniture” joked causing Haley to giggle.
“Sorry for making you to hang out with me” she said when they started to walk down the street. “You didn’t sound too happy when you talked about me.”
felt herself blush. This was just too uncomfortable.
“It’s no problem hanging out with you, honestly. And sorry for making you feel like I have some issues with you. I don’t, you know. It’s just… I don’t know you.”
“I told him to tell you” she responded looking at her.
“You did?” asked looking at her. Haley was a bit shorter than her but was really pretty, had to admit. Haley nodded.
“Yeah, I’ve seen some pictures in his flat of you. And when I asked him who you were he told me that you were his best friend. I don’t really understand why he didn’t tell you that we are together.”
looked back onto the ground absorbing everything Haley told her. “Doesn’t matter now, does it?” she smiled. “Now we know each other…”
Haley looked at her and smiled. “Right.”
“So, what are we going to do?” asked looking at her but before Haley state her cluelessness already talked. “Ooh, I know a great bar… let’s go there” And with that was already pulling Haley across the street.
hailed a taxi and both made their way into Soho. The drive took ages as the traffic was killing again. “So do you live in London?” asked looking at Haley. She just had tied up her hair and looked like for a moment.
“Bristol actually” she smiled. “I’m always for the weekend in London so that I can be near . But a weekend relationship is quite exhausting so we figured it’d be better to move to London for good.”
swallowed and felt her heart seizing. This was actually the topic she wanted to avoid the most.
“And what are you doing with your job?” she asked as casually as possible.
“I just finished University, so I’m still looking for a job” she said.
“Oh really… what did you study?” she asked.
“I studied to become a teacher” she smiled at and suddenly she couldn’t do anything different but liking her even more. “Primary school teacher” she added.
“You like children, huh?” asked .
Haley nodded and looked out of the window. “It’s just… children are so innocent. They don’t want to harm you. And being responsible for their education and forming their being is worth all the stress, you know.”
smiled at her and nodded. “That sounds good, Haley.”
Haley met ’s eyes and smiled back. “Nothing compared to being an actress though” she smiled.
’s smile faded. “It’s so much more than that-“
Haley looked at her bewildered. “What do you mean?”
started to giggle but it faded slowly. “You’re the first person I’m telling this but… it’s not going very well, you know. I’d give anything to have some security right now. A stable job… without the worry what the next year will bring.”
“Is it that bad?” she asked turning to her.
“I still got savings you know and I won’t starve or anything. But there are many talents out there and they make it harder for you to stay in everybody’s mind.”
“Have you ever considered moving to Los Angeles?” asked Haley causing to look at her.
“I have” she said in a low voice. “But there was always something that stopped me thinking about it.”
“It may be a possibility. If you love acting more than anything else than it’s worth a second thought.”
smiled and nudged her arm. “Stop talking about it or you make me want to cry.”
Haley laughed and turned back ahead. “So where’s the bar we’re heading to?”
took one last glimpse at Haley before she looked forward again trying to block the thoughts about Los Angeles out of her mind.


Chapter 6

” shushed her Haley when they made their way upstairs. She was supporting her while was swaying, chanting and giggling.
“I love you, Haley” she giggled and missed a step. She stumbled and landed on her right knee but instead of being in pain she just kept on laughing.
, honey” tried Haley again but didn’t listen. She got up and swayed around to walk downstairs again. “Not that way!” she hissed and grabbed ’s arm. This caused her to sway even more and one moment later she landed on her bum laughing out loud. Not knowing what to do Haley grabbed her mobile and dialled ’s number.
“Please come downstairs… I’ve got some problems with your friend.”
One moment later was rushing down the stairs seeing lying on the steps. “What happened to her?” he asked halfway amused halfway irritated.
“Pina Colada happened to her… probably gallons of pina colada.”
walked down the rest of the steps and kneed down in front of . “I take her home” he said to Haley.
“Could you get me the car keys, please?” he asked looking up at Haley. She nodded and made her way into the flat upstairs. looked at . Her hair was a slight mess but she looked still lovely and innocent. He stroked a strand of hair from her face before she suddenly opened her eyes.
“What are you doing?” she mumbled and looked into her eyes.
“I’m taking you home” he whispered.
“I am home, aren’t I?” she said closing her eyes again. kept looking at her and felt a sharp pain in his chest. Just this moment Haley reached them and handed his car keys.
“Shall I come with you?” she asked looking concerned.
lifted ’s hand and let it drop so that it would fall directly into her lap. “No, she’s fine… knocked out but fine.”
He lifted her up and carried her outside into his car. Haley followed him and held the car door open while sat her onto the backseat. “I take it from here” he said giving her a peck onto the cheek.
“But don’t be away too long, alright?” called Haley after him when he moved around the car to sit down. “I promise, I won’t” he winked at her and sat down. The next moment he was driving down the driveway onto the street.

knew the road to by heart.
The past year he had driven it so many times that it was impossible not to know every little detail of the way. Soon he would drive passed the park where last June they used to have their mornings jogs. had forced to accompany her though he really didn’t want to. But in the end he was glad he did so. Beating in running was his favourite memory from the summer… he looked into the rear-view mirror and saw her sleeping peacefully.
He concentrated again on the street and turned on the radio. suddenly felt very relaxed when he heard this song and for a moment a warm feeling rushed through him.


“Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star.
One without a permanent scar,
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there”

“I love this song” smiled snuggling into ’s shoulder. He played with her hair and hummed along. He did love this song as well… he looked at her and kissed her head. smiled and closed her eyes listening to ’s voice.

“Now that she’s back from that soul vacation, tracing her way through the constellation” he sang and looked up onto the ceiling.
“When you and the guys finally get a deal with a record company you have to record this one” she mumbled already falling asleep.
“You think we can make it? I mean… do you think we will get a deal?”
looked up at him and smiled.
loved looking in those shining eyes that were the most honest one he had ever seen. “Without a doubt.”
She kissed his cheek and put her head back onto his chest… “You can be everything you want, .”

* * *

“I love this song.”
snapped back into reality and looked into the rear-view mirror. was sitting there with her eyes wide open looking out of the window.
“She checks out Mozart while she does Tae-Bo, reminds me that there’s room to grow, hey-yeah-yeah”
she sang along and kept on looking out of the window. saw the lights reflect in her eyes and felt very sad for one moment. He had never felt that grown apart before…
“Me too” he said in a low voice causing to look at him.
“I was right, you know” she said in a whisper.
“’Bout what?” he asked looking at her through the rear-view mirror.
“I told you, you could be everything you wanted… and you are.”
looked back on the street not answering. He drove passed the pizza parlour and the rest of the drive continued in silence.
Once he stood in front of her house he turned around and looked at her. “Are you okay?” he asked.
looked at him and smiled half-heartedly. “Yeah.”
She stopped and looked at him. “Haley’s great” she said. “Good choice, .”
looked at her and put his forehead into folds, just the way he always did it when he was uncertain and feeling caught in the middle.
“I take you upstairs” he said and got out of the car. He opened the door for her and helped her to get out of the car. “Oh, I feel sick” she said touching her stomach.
“Why did you drink that much anyway?” he asked.
“Happy hour-sssss” she stressed and smiled at him guiltily. He pulled her arm around his shoulder and took hold on her waist. “Don’t move so fast, please” she wailed when she realised that she felt sicker and sicker with each step she took.
“I’m not moving fast, ” he explained and lowered his pace but once they were upstairs rushed into the bathroom kneeling down in front of the toilet and threw up. closed the door behind him and waited in the living room.
“Eww” he heard her calling from the bathroom as the door was still open.
“Pina Colada?” he asked.
“Well” she started spitting into the toilet. “It’s not so much the pina but more the colada.”
“Thanks for the vivid description” he said heading for the bathroom.
“Don’t look” she moaned while she flushed.
“You don’t look good, Con” he said kneeling down beside her.
“Have you just realised what I did?” she asked ironically. “I threw up everything that had filled my stomach. I’m pretty much empty- oh, not yet” she said and bowed again over the toilet.
shook his head and took hold of her hair.
“You don’t need to” she said but felt thankful for some sort of support as well as embarrassed by being in such a state. Once she felt safe to leave the bathroom again she made leave it to freshen up a bit.
waited in the living room for to tell him she was alright.
He looked around and suddenly realised that it had been some time ago since the last time he had been here. His attention got drawn to some photos on the wall and he took a few steps closer. There was one from last Christmas in Hyde Park…
everyone was wearing the hats and scarves had given them two Christmases ago in Norway. smiled and looked at the other photos when he suddenly saw the pictures they had taken in a photo booth two months ago-
“Okay, think I’m able to socialise again” he said heading for the couch and dropped down. “What time is it?” she asked but he didn’t answer. “?” she asked not looking up.
“Almost ten” he said turning around to look at her. “So you feel fine again?”
She nodded but her head still feat very heavy. “You can leave now if you like” she said looking at him.
“Are you sure?” he asked really wanting to make sure she was feeling fine.
“Yes, yes” she said and got up. “Go home to Haley and tell her I owe her big time.”
chuckled and saw getting up. “Ouch” she said and limped a bit. She sat down again and pulled up her jeans. “Fantastic” she cried out loud. There was a big bruise on her knee and she felt even more stupid.
“What happened?” asked concerned.
“I think I fell on one of your steps” she said looking at him. “But it’s alright” she said and got up.
“Gotta cool it a bit and it’ll be gone in… don’t know, let’s say… two decades.”
shook his head. “No more pina colada for you, young lady” he said in a goofy voice causing to giggle. She just went into the kitchen to fetch some ice when there was suddenly a knock on the door.
“Could you take it, ?” she yelled from the kitchen.
headed for the door and just the moment he opened it he wished he had never done it.
“Oh. Hey, ” said the other person.
“Rick” said and shook the hand Rick was offering.
“Is there?”
And just that moment came back with some ice wrapped in a towel. “Rick” she said realising that she had had a date tonight. “Come in.”
He stepped past and gave a peck on the cheek. “What happened?”
“Pina Colada, Mister” she smiled and looked at who watched them both uneasy. “ has pampered me a bit though” she said trying to make the atmosphere snugger.
“Well, if you like I can take it from here” suggested Rick looking from to and back to . She nodded and looked at . “You better go and see Haley” she smiled at him and led him to the door. He stepped outside and turned back to her. She was standing right at the door so that Rick was out of sight.

“Call me if you need something” he said and kissed her cheek.
“I will” she responded and watched him walking down the corridor. “Oh and hey, ” she called out causing him to turn around. “Thank you… for everything.”
He just nodded and made his way downstairs… trying his best to ignore the hole in his heart which seems to grow bigger and bigger.


Chapter 7

woke up with the sound of the door’s bell. Someone was pushing the button a little bit too often and she was annoyed enough that it happened at half past eight. She opened the door and waited for the person to reach her door. Once she saw him standing in front of her she slammed the door and walked slowly back towards her bedroom.
“You, go away” she moaned walking into her bedroom and dropping down onto her bed.
“Please” she heard him knocking on the door. She moaned once more, rolled out of bed and made her way over to the door again. With a hard grip she swung the door open and faced the person in front of her.
“What. Do. You. Want?” she asked making a little pause in between the words.
“How are you feeling?” he asked with this oh so familiar cheeky smile.
“How am I feeling” she repeated to herself before she said it once more out loud. “How am I feeling- You want to know how I feel? Brilliant! And what about you, ? How are you feeling?” she asked still in this pretended polite tone.
“Great!” he stated passing her straight away.
“Great” she called out loud. “At least one of us” she said pushing the door back into the frame. She turned around looking at . “And why are you feeling that great?”
turned around and pulled out of his jacket a bunch of tickets. “What’s that?” she asked raising her brows. “We’re all going to Disney World” he smiled and waved with the tickets. started to laugh along before she stopped abruptly and shook her head. “No!”
stopped waving and tilted his head.
, come on. It’s gonna be fun-“
“Fun? The last time I went with you into a theme park was back when we were 18 and living in .”
“Hey, it was no theme park. It was a funfair” he defended widening his eyes.
“You and vomited into my car!”
’s face turned guilty. He perked his eyebrows up and smiled guiltily. “About that… sorry.”
smiled at him gently and raised her left arm. “Oh, so kind of you… after seven years!” she snapped passing to drop down onto the couch.
“Come on, I already got your ticket. And it’s Disney World! Disney WORLD!” stressed sitting down next to her. “Remember our last trip to Norway? We had so much fun there-“
glanced at raising her brows.
“Maybe not every one of us” he added quickly but kept looking into her eyes. “But on balance we had a blast. Remember the snowball fight which, just to straighten it out, I won.”
rolled her eyes. “You won’t leave me alone with it, will you?”
raised his brows and had this cheeky look on his face.
“Never” he whispered while touching her forehead with his forehead.
“Fine” gave in, earning a peck on her cheek from him.
“You owe me though” she said when he got up. He just chuckled and walked towards her fridge.
watched him doing so and got up as well. She followed him into her open kitchen and leaned against the bar while he was opening a can of coke.
“Have you seen today?” she asked casually but still couldn’t get rid of this curious tone in her voice. looked at her while taking a sip and shook his head slowly. Once he had taken the sip he spoke. “No, not yet. I’ve just called him though to tell him about the tickets.”
nodded her head. “Why are you asking?”
She shook her head. “Just asking.”
nodded his head suspiciously and looked at her closely.
“What?” asked .
“Nothing” he claimed and took an apple from the basket on ’s kitchen table. “I gotta go… we have some rehearsals for the tour today.” He positioned two tickets on the kitchen table and winked at . “For Rick or whatever his name is. Those are the flight tickets” he smiled and took another sip of his coke while walking to the door. “Can’t wait” he smiled and opened the door.
He hugged her goodbye and left her alone. closed the door and turned around to lean against it. Without second thoughts she ran into the bathroom to get dressed.

Slamming her purse onto the counter when she realised that no one was in the boutique she called out for . Appearing out of the storage room looked at irritated.
“What’s eating you?”
“Haley” she said.
raised her brows and tilted her head. “She never really looked like a maneater.”
rolled her eyes starting to walk up and down along the counter. “So the meeting didn’t go too good yesterday, did it?”
stopped walking and looked at helplessly. “No… It went brilliantly, actually.”
“But that’s great” smiled before the smile appeared again to look confusingly at . “Isn’t it?”
“Well, it should be right? I mean, she’s funny and pretty and smart and purposeful. She’s going to be a primary teacher. She would be one of those teachers I’d like to teach my children.
She’s cheeky – but in a good way – and, and, and” she started to stumble in order to sort her thoughts, “and keenly, delicate and graceful… she’s like… the Celine Dion of the teaching world. Everyone likes a Celine Dion.”
Meanwhile was staring at with big eyes. “You’re jealous” she finally claimed looking at shocked.
“I’m not jealous, for God’s sake!” spat breaking the eye contact and really annoyed by that she kept repeating it over and over again.
“Hell you are” laughed putting the pile of clothes she was holding in her arms since she came from the storage room onto the counter.
put both her hands on the counter leaning forward to look directly into the eyes. “I’m not jealous! I’m just-“
“You’re just what?”
“I’m just” she repeated inhaling heavily. “I’m just figuring my chances are… below my expectations.”
“Your chances?” asked curiously while folding the tops that lay on the counter.
“She’s so much better than me. She’s not crazy, you know. I’m hysterical and loopy, and my last acting job was nine months ago. I’m impatient and… and, and, and I don’t listen. I just always want to pull my things through… and I’m stubborn. No one and I mean NO ONE is as stubborn as I am. I don’t even know how you guys can even hang out with me.”
had stopped in her actions and looked at bewildered. “How much did you drink last night?”
“See, another thing. She had one cocktail and sipped at that one the whole time while I drank like an old Russian fisherman.”
“Pina Colada?” asked .
“Oh yeah” said pulling a face while remembering last night’s vomiting.
“Listen, ” started reaching out for her hands which were still on the counter. “You are great. We all love you for who you are.”
“But you will love Haley more” she whined.
looked at her shocked. “What makes you think that?”

she asked moving around the counter to face her friend.
looked at her sadly. “Because loves her more.”
It was like could watch ’s face lose all control. Her mouth dropped open and her eyes widened. “No way. So you really do still like ?”
“Shush, would you?” snapped waving her hands around her body to make keep quiet although no one else was in the boutique. “I never stopped liking him even when we were fighting. It’s just… this time when we were ‘hating’ each other” with two fingers of each hand she mimed the quotation s, “it gave me a break of wanting to get back together with him. And now that we’re all friends again this feeling came back-“
“When?” asked curiously.
“A couple of months ago. Why do you think I didn’t date anyone?”
“Does he know?”
“Are you out of your mind? No… and he’s not going to know.”
“Haley” stated looking at irritated. “I like her… and I hate her for making me liking her. But ’s better off with her, you know.”
was about to say something when the door to the boutique opened and , ’s girlfriend, walked in. And just a few seconds later followed, ’s girlfriend.
, look who we got here? Isn’t that lovely ?” laughed and hugged her firmly. It has been a while since they have seen each other so the greeting was warm and welcoming.
“Your boyfriend was at my place this morning, by the way” said to after they have all sat down onto the couch in ’s boutique. It was still a quarter of an hour to go until she would open.
“Did he bug you with the Disney World topic?” she asked taking a sip of the coffee she had taken with her. nodded her head.
“Are you joining us then?” asked hopefully.
nodded her head again. “He asked very nicely.”
“Score” cheered winking at who just started to giggle.
“What was that wink for?” asked looking from to .
“It’s just… are you going to take Rick with you?”
And before could answer was interrupting. “Probably not, girls. I guess her dating time with him is o-ver” she over pronounced while walking past them. ’s eyes widened and she got up.
“Excuse me for one moment, please” she smiled already pulling into the storage room.
“What was that about?” she snapped.
“But it’s true, isn’t it? You’re not going to date him anymore, do you?”
“Of course, I’m going to date him.”
“But what’s up with ?” she asked confused.
“Nothing’s up with . You have to keep quiet about what I’ve told you. Nobody’s allowed to know, you got me, Ms. Jabber-box?”
“I don’t get it. You like but still continue dating Rick- that’s senseless.”
“I date Rick because I have to get rid of my feelings for .
I’m very close to start liking Rick as more than just a friend-“
“But -“ started but got interrupted by .
has Haley who is, just like I said before, perfect. Promise me to keep quiet.” Although thought that ’s decision or plan or whatever you would like to call it was totally wrong she agreed. “I promise, .”
“Thank you” she smiled. She kissed ’s cheek and went outside again.
“What was that about?” asked winking at .
“Rick’s coming with me, of course. I mean, if he likes to come with me…”
“Brilliant” smiled . “We heard he looks hot.”
“I can’t believe that you all have boyfriends” giggled shaking her head.
“Talking about boyfriends” started . “Are you coming with us visiting ours and your ex?”
looked up at her and saw her exchanging looks with . “They have rehearsals today” she smiled.
nodded. It was always fun hanging around with all of them and for a very strange reason she started to feel like Disney World was not such a bad idea after all.


Chapter 8

They entered the studios and made their way to the rehearsal room said they would be. looked around carefully because she always wondered how rehearsals for a big tour would look like. She didn’t quite listen to what and were talking about but was just walking next to them.
“It’s here” smiled at . “Excited?” she asked.
“What for?” returned raising her brows. She had the strange feeling that was behaving differently, like she was having something on her mind.
’s there” she winked at her.
“So?” asked looking at her irritated. And then suddenly it sunk in… turned around feeling herself blush before she turned back at and who were now beaming at her.
“Oh my God, you eavesdropped!” she whined.
For one moment they looked pretty guilty but then the cheeky glance in their eyes came back. “To our defence you weren’t talking very quietly, you know.”
“Listen,” said and saw through the door’s window that had noticed them, “you are not going to say anything to anybody, you hear me? has a girlfriend now so don’t destroy that by some stupid plan!”
and looked at each other before started to talk. “But we want you to be together-“
“Have you even met Haley?” she asked looking at them bothered. They both nodded their heads.
“She’s lovely right?”
“Yeah, but-“ started but already interrupted her.
“No but! I like her and she’s good for . So if you are my friends” and now she was looking absolutely seriously at them, “don’t make them break up. and I… it’s the past. We are friends now and it should be that way and only that way.”
The cheeky glance in their eyes vanished and they both understood. “I really wanted you two to come together you know” said remembering how she had found out about and ’s past in Norway and how much she had fought for them to find their way back.
“I know you wanted” said smiling at her. “Are we okay now? Do you understand what I’m aiming at when I’m telling you that and I are not going to come back together?”
They nodded again in unity and just that second the door got flung open and a co worker was vanishing down the hall. “Let’s go inside then” smiled at them and pushed them inside.

While entering the room they could hear the sound system doing its best to fill the room with its sound. Priscilla was dancing in front of them while the lads watched every move she made. Though they were trying really hard to appear serious about the dancing thing, they all wondered how the heck they should remember the routine.
“Got it?” asked Priscilla while she was turning around to face them. She looked into four helpless faces and sighed. “Fine, ten minutes break, then” she said and moved to the group of people in the background. and the others were sitting down on the bench at the wall. Once they realised what Priscilla had just said was already causing the lads to pay attention to them.
“Hey, baby” smiled while hugging his girlfriend. And soon was also lost in a conversation with , which left and to talk to her.
“Where’s ?” asked when he sat down next to her.
“Working” she said putting her hands between her legs and the bench. “So what did you do today?”
he asked casually while taking a sip of his water.
surprised me with the tickets this morning and since then I just pictured myself having a ball in Disney World-“
“You are kidding, right?” he asked raising his brows. “That’s not what you did all day long, right?”
shook her head and sighed. “You will never get my humour, !”
“Ha ha” he said dryly but startled when he felt his mobile phone vibrating. “Excuse me, it’s .”
nodded and looked up at who hadn’t said a word once. “You’re very talk-active today” she recalled raising her brows.
“Are you okay?” he asked sitting down next to her.
If it was even possible raised her brows even more.
“Yes, I am. Why shouldn’t I?”
“Did Rick take good care of you yesterday?”
looked at the floor and coughed. “Yeah, he did.” And before she realised a smile formed on her lips. “What’s so funny?” asked noticing the smile as well, although he wished it wasn’t there.
“I just… I remembered how he tried to teach me a spin yesterday-“ she said remembered the scene. “You were sick, you shouldn’t have done some spinning” snapped .
“I know but that’s exactly the funny part. I threw up again after that” she giggled but hid her face in her hands. Suddenly felt more at ease. There was nothing more unattractive then vomit.
“So you scared him away with that?” he asked chuckling and he did indeed feel better now.
“No, not really” she smiled and the happiness was gone again. looked at her signalising her to keep on talking. “He apologised and continued to pamper me after that.”
“What did he do?” he asked as casually as humanly possible.
“He made me a cup of tea and then we lay down and watched some tv.”
‘Lay down?’ he asked himself but didn’t dear to ask what exactly she meant by that. “So you had fun, right?” he asked.
“Yeah, it happened to be a nice night after all” she said and looked passed at the group of people Priscilla had gone to. followed her example and turned around to see him standing there… there he was. Rick. ’s last night hero.
“You like him, don’t you?” he asked carefully.
’s eyes wandered to and they locked his for a moment. Her heart was missing a beat when she saw him looking at her this way and although for some reason she wanted to fall down on her knees to tell him that it’s him she wanted, she figured that it was wrong. He was with Haley now and she needed to accept that… “I do, yeah” she smiled looking back at Rick.
“I’m happy for ye” said and patted her knee. The moment the words left his mouth felt a sharp pain in her heart. He was happy for her… he wanted her to be with someone- someone else but him.
forced a smile to appear on her face.
“Thanks” he said and got up. “I think I will say hello to him.”
nodded and watched her moving away. ‘Happy for ye?’ he repeated in his mind. ‘Never.’ Then he saw Rick throwing his arms around when she approached him. She was giggling when he was goofing around. But then there was this one moment that made hold his breath… it was when Rick stopped playing around but stood in front of her looking in her eyes before he leaned in to kiss softly her forehead.
“Hey ye” startled when he felt two cold hands on his back. Haley was leaning against his shoulders hugging him from behind, following his glance.
“Cute, look at and that guy” she smiled resting her chin on his head.
“Yeah, cute” he repeated.
“Do you know him?” she asked.
“Why? You want his number?” he asked a bit too harsh before he got up. Haley sat down onto the bench looking at him bewildered.
“Say what?” she asked.
“You want his number?” he repeated and he didn’t even know why he did it.
Haley got up as well and stood now in front of who had his hands on his hips. “No…” she said looking at him irritated. “I was just asking.”
exhaled rubbing his forehead. “Hales, I’m sorry” he said looking at her guiltily. “It’s just… madness, here” he said.
Haley looked at him. “I hope I’m not making it worse.”
He knew that it had been a bad idea reacting the way he did… but it was on impulse. “No, of course not” he said now moving closer to hear. He rested his forehead on hers and looked into her eyes.
“I’m sorry, I really am. I’m happy you’re here. You’re the only sane person around here” he grinned kissing her.
Haley seemed to loosen up a bit as well now. “I thought I cook us something today.”
“Oh, do that, honey” he smiled.
Haley smiled back at him. “Do you want to invite someone?” she asked. “What about ?” she asked and her eyes got all shiny. What was the reason why he wanted and Haley to get along again? He smiled at her and shook his head.
“No, I just want it to be us” he whispered and kissed her again.
“Okay, you’re way too sexy when you say this” she giggled feeling her knees getting weak. “I will go then. Have fun rehearsing” she said giving him one last kiss before she left him alone.
looked after her but once she was gone his glance wandered to who was giggling something into Rick’s phone. It seemed like he was making a video-
“All right, everybody” called Priscilla. “Say goodbye to your girlfriends… it’s time for torture.”
Rick put his arm around ’s shoulder and smiled into his phone as well before he closed it.
“So I see you tomorrow, right?” he asked .
“See you tomorrow, big boy” she giggled and just when she wanted to leave Rick grabbed her arm. “I need something for today though” he said in a low voice.
“Rick!” they heard Priscilla calling. They looked at her seeing everybody standing around her already.
” now it was the girls calling her. She looked back at Rick raising her brows. “What is it?” she asked preparing for doing some groceries or something but then he just leaned in and kissed her. It was not a long kiss rather more a three-seconds-kiss but he did kiss her and everything that she heard was whistles and ooh- and aah-ing.
She opened her eyes to look at him. “A little reminder, you know” he winked at her before he made his way over to the group. “Done, Rick?” asked Priscilla and even she was smiling.
stood still there where she had been left until she felt two eyes lingering on her and she looked at who turned slowly around when she met his eyes.
!” she heard once more calling and before she knew it she was sitting in the car driving home.


Chapter 9

was sitting between Haley and Rick on the backseat. was driving the car while tried to read the map on the passenger’s seat. It had been two weeks ago since the incident during the rehearsals. Rick and had somehow become a couple and and Haley were as happy as ever.
looked to her right where Haley was looking out of the window. “We’ve been in this car for two hours now… when will we arrive?” moaned resting her chin in her hand while her elbow sank into her knee. She exhaled loudly starting to click her tongue.
“It’s not even supposed to take that long” she added looking from to , back at then at . No one responded… she started to click her tongue again. started to scratch his head while looking at her through the rear-view mirror. was bored… she looked at Rick who was sleeping already. His left cheek touched the window and smiled when she saw it. He looked so cute… like a little boy. After a while it got boring looking at Rick so she turned around to see the other car driving behind them. There was , and sitting in the backseat while drove and slept next to him. She turned forward again clicking her tongue again.
“What was the reason again for not taking a shuttle to the hotel? The drive to our hotel is not supposed to take two hours. It’s quite close actually… I Google-earthed it” she claimed. They have arrived in Orlando about three hours ago. And the flight had taken them longer than expected and was tired. She wanted to be in her room so badly.
glanced once more into the rear-view mirror seeing her looking bored ahead. He sighed scratching his head once more-
“We got lost” she said.
“We did not!” claimed trying to sound calmly. “Two hours, ” she snapped.
“The traffic was bad!”
opened her mouth in shock, before she closed it again. “I haven’t seen more than probably ten cars in the last hour! You got us lost!”
“No, you’re lost when you don’t know where you are. I know where we are” he snapped at her.
“Really? Where are we then, ?”
He looked at the shield in front of him. “Close to Palm Bay.”
“Palm Bay?” asked in disbelief contracting her eyes. “What the hell? You’re supposed to drive westbound not eastbound!”
She got slightly up from the seat and grabbed ’s map.
“Give it back!” he snapped turning around.
“You can’t even read it” she snapped back at him.
“Guys!” called finding the noise annoying.
“Where’s your sat nav?” she asked looking at .
“Don’t have it” he claimed annoyed.
“You don’t have it?”
“The car doesn’t have one integrated and I didn’t take mine!”
“Pull to the right!” she called out slapping his arm. “No!” snapped.
“We’re miles away from Disney World” she yelled. Haley and Rick were already following the heated conversation between and .
“Do you want to drive?”
“YES!” she yelled and already undid her seatbelt. “Fasten your seatbelt!” he snapped back when she saw her already getting up from her seat.
, move!” she ordered. on the other hand was so shocked by her actions that he looked at her surprised. But when already lifted her foot to put it over ’s seat she suddenly heard her mobile phone ringing.
“What?” she asked when answering it.
“What are you doing?”
recognised ’s voice at once. She kneeled down onto the backseat to look out of the rear window.
“Ask if he knows where he is” she ordered looking angrily. The sun was burning onto her head. She heard repeating what she had said and saw looking at a shield. “Palm Bay” she heard him saying. “Jeez, give me that phone, Zo” he suddenly burst out angrily. “Give me ” he ordered.
“I deal with him” she closed the phone turning around again. “You sooo got us lost” she hissed.
“That’s it!” he said braking hard. Once the car stopped he got out of it!
“You drive” he snapped.
“I WILL” she yelled and climbed over the seats onto the driver’s seat. She looked angrily at .
“And you… backseat!” she said pointing with her thumb over her shoulder. rolled his eyes and climbed over to Haley and Rick. The passenger’s door opened and got inside. He slammed the door and looked at .
“There you go. You can drive!”
“I will” she said looking at him. Then she looked at the shift and her heart skipped a beat. “It’s an automatic car” she claimed and looked back at who now smirked. “I know.”

“Are you familiar with the gear shift?” asked looking at her. was taking firm hold of the steering wheel. She looked at .
“The prndl?” she asked looking helplessly at him.
looked at her irritated. “The what?” he asked.
“Prndl” she said pointing at the gear shift. put his head over his face doing his best not to laugh. “This thing is called gear shift” he said once he figured that he won’t laugh out loud.
“So what does P.R.N.D.L. stand for?”
“Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Low” he said looking at her amused.
“Oh my god, I will never learn how to drive. I don’t even know what prndl stands for” she moaned rattling the steering wheel.
“Let’s call it gear shift, shall we?”
“Why can’t I drive with a normal car. I hate automatic cars. Cars with gear change… that’s something I need. You start with the first gear, second gear, third gear-” she said.
“You have to learn it” interrupted her . “What if your future husband wants to buy an automatic car?”
looked at . “You do that and I kill you” she said pointing her finger at him. laughed…

* * *
looked at him angrily. “You ars-“
“Na na” said looking at her amused. “Don’t swear. Please” he said pointing at the gear shift. “Start the prndl.”
breathed in and out heavily.
” started Rick from behind.
“Don’t!” said not taking his eyes off .
“Don’t Rick… I can drive it” she said looking ahead. She put down the gas pedal and the car was doing a fast movement forwards. looked worried at and fastened his seatbelt immediately.
started to laugh. They have moved for like one second before the car stopped again. “Stop laughing” snapped looking angrily at .
“You forgot to put the car in drive” noted looking at her amused. looked down at the gear shift and sighed.
“It’s the D on your prndl” chuckled .
“I know that D stands for drive” she hissed in a low voice.

“Are they always like that?” asked Haley . turned to her and nodded.
“Well they used to be different in many ways” he said causing Haley to raise her brows.
continued to explain. “About one and a half year ago they were like… enemies. They were fighting all the time. It was worse than that. This” he pointed at the heated conversation between and “is just a little teasing, you know. But the way they have treated each other in Norway, phu, I’m telling you. That was war!”
“How come?” asked Haley looking curiously at and before she turned back at . looked at her. He knew that she didn’t know about and ’s past. That they had been together and made him swore not to tell her anything.
“Don’t know” he said shrugging his shoulders.

heard them talking in the background so she started in a whisper. “I can’t drive that car” she said looking out of the windscreen.
“My heart goes crazy” she said taking his hand and putting it onto her chest. She let go of it and quickly pulled it back. He looked at her. “Do you want me to drive?” he asked looking at her. She turned her head and nodded slowly. “It’s so embarrassing though” she whispered rolling her eyes towards the three people behind them.
rolled his eyes.
“You’ll never do it” he said out loud.
looked at him irritated. “Let me drive again” he snapped already opening the door. “What?” asked also getting out. She slammed the door and walked behind the car where she passed .
“Thank you” she whispered and went around sitting down in the passenger’s seat. closed the door as well and moved the car onto the street again.
“It’s not like I couldn’t do it” she defended herself. “I could” she added, “But Mr. Filan knows it better again. He always knows it better, because he’s Mr. Better-knows-it-Filan…”
“Enough” whispered looking at her. knew what he meant and flashed him a quick smile.
“Can we now drive to Disney World, please?”

Chapter 10

opened the door to her room. She let the suitcase drop and headed for the soft mattress. “I love you mattress. You’re heaven” she said hugging her bed. Rick started to laugh when he saw her lying on the bed. “Was it that exhausting?”
“You’ve been in the car” she said still keeping her eyes closed. “You know how exhausting it was.” Rick laughed and closed the door. He dropped down next to her and put his leg over her bum which caused to giggle.
“You’re right. This is heaven” he said sighing. patted her hand on his right cheek and looked at him. “I could stay like this forever. We don’t have to move if we don’t want to. We can lay here and do nothing but…”
“But?” he asked.
“But lying” she finished and let her hand rest on his cheek while she closed her eyes again. Rick looked at her before he took her hand in his hand and kissed it softly. “Sleep tight” he whispered and put her hand on the mattress. He didn’t move but closed his eyes too and slowly drifted asleep.

“Have you seen ?” asked when everyone arrived at the lobby. They had room right in the resort so that they didn’t need to drive everyday to Disney world. shook his head.
“Nope sorry, haven’t seen her since she and Rick went to their room.”
nodded. “Fine, I go and get them. Need to pick something from our room anyway” he said and walked towards the stairs. It wasn’t a big hotel, it was actually quite cosy. And apart from a few other families they were the only one in this hotel. He took two stairs at a time and once he reached the second floor he walked down the hallway. Haley and his room was opposite and Rick’s one. He knocked at their door and moved to his door to open it already. Once he put his card into the reader the door behind him opened.
“Get ready you-“ he turned around and saw Rick rubbing his eyes. He glanced past him saw still sleeping on the bed, “two” he added.
“Sorry, ” apologised Rick yawing. “We fell asleep.”
nodded. “Yeah, exhausting car drive, wasn’t it?” he said trying to pay his attention to Rick rather to the sleeping . “Are you coming with us?” he asked as casually as possible.
Rick looked at and then back at . “Sure… I try waking up . Erm… can you all wait for another five minutes?”
started to laugh. “You think will be ready in five minutes?”
Rick looked at her again. “You don’t think so?”
“You get ready and I wake her up” he said nodding towards causing Rick to follow his glance. He turned back to him not moving. “Why do you want to wake her up? I mean, I can do it myself.”
stared back at him and opened his mouth. He wasn’t expecting such a question. “I just-“ he started rambling, “I thought maybe you can go get ready yourself while I try to wake her up. She can be a rough nut sometimes.”
Rick nodded thoughtfully and considered that it would be best. They had wasted enough time by now. He turned around and headed towards the bathroom. closed his door again and walked into their room. The white painted door locked and stared at . He slowly moved forward and sat down next to her.
“Hey” he said in a low voice waiting for a reaction but she didn’t move.
“Con” he said touching her foot. She pulled her feet closer to her body. “You have to wake up” he said.
moaned. “Rick” she whispered pouting her mouth.
looked at her. “” he said. “It’s me, .”
opened her eyes slowly and looked at him. “You lied” she whispered causing to contract his brows. “What do you mean?” he asked.
“You told me you would never buy an automatic car” she said.
“I’m not your husband and I didn’t buy that car, I rented it” he responded smiling at her.
“Still unfair!”
smiled wearily but when he saw closing her eyes again he got up and nudged her foot.
“Get up, you.”
“Why?” she moaned turning around so that couldn’t see her face.
“Let’s go to the park” he said. “We’re all waiting for you and-“
“Rick!” called out sitting up straight at once. “Where is he?” she asked.
“Bathroom” said bewildered pointing with his thumb over his shoulder. “He knows you’re here, right?” she asked raising her brows.
“Yeah. He let me in-.“ nodded. “Why are you asking?” he asked bewildered.
looked at awkwardly. “Just asking… come on. I want to hit the park with you load” she said and got up from the bed. She took hold of her purse and vanished into the bathroom leaving alone who just shook his head and went into his own room.
closed the door and looked at Rick. “Thank you” she said.
“What for?” asked Rick.
“I was scared that you might tell -“
“Tell what?”
“That you know” she stressed widening her eyes.
Rick sighed and looked at . “I don’t have a problem with him being your ex.”
nodded. “I know but… it’s the first time you two have somehow been alone-“
Rick touched her arms and looked at her closely. “You told me that Haley doesn’t know and I don’t want to make a fuss, really. There’s nothing between you and but friendship right?”
looked him in the eyes. “Yes.”
Rick pulled her closer and hugged her kissing her head. “You see. That’s all what matters… I don’t want to feel like threatened that I might tell Haley or something. This way we all get along perfectly.”
“You are right” she smiled and got out off his embrace. It was two days ago that Rick found an old photo of and . It showed them kissing and because was stupid enough to label it with a date. When had walked into her bedroom to find Rick with this photo in his hands she first didn’t know whether to yell at him for touching it or trying to act rationally.


“What are you doing?” asked raising her brows.
Rick held up the photograph looking at his mouth pouted. “Just found this.”
“What in my drawer?” she snapped but didn’t want to sound too harsh but couldn’t believe what was happening.
Rick shook his head. “No! I’d never do that… I was just-“
“You were just what?” she repeated.
“I pulled out your suitcase from under your bed and I pulled this along” he held it up again.
felt suddenly very stupid and looked away from him.
“Don’t look away” he said taking a step forward to put the photo onto her bed.
“I’m sorry if I have done something wrong” he said taking the step back again.
looked at him and shook her head. “No, you haven’t. I shouldn’t have snapped at you.”
“I respect your privacy” he soothed folding his arms across his chest looking very manly.
felt like a little girl but couldn’t help feel even more attracted to him at this moment.
“So you and were-“ he stopped and nodded towards the photo.
nodded. “Yes… we were. But that’s ages ago.” Rick nodded his head and leaned back against the dresser. continued explaining. “We were together when we went to school and some time after school as well. Then there was a nasty break-up and we hated each other a few years and then… we reconciled.”
“Do you still have feelings for him?” asked Rick sweetly. looked at him and shook his head forcefully. “No… I don’t. I have you now…” she said and walked over to him. She looked into his eyes still shaking her head. She touched his chest to make her commitment obvious.
, I won’t be mad at you if you still have feelings for him. But if you do then this” he put his hand onto hers on his chest and spoke softly, “makes no sense. So you need to tell me.”
didn’t look away but tears were stinging up. “I’m with you. and I are friends. That” she said and pointed at the photo, “is the past. I don’t want to live in the past.”
“Okay” he whispered and pulled her in once more.

* * *
closed the door to his room and looked around. He had tried to ignore the pounding feeling in his chest but he finally realised that it was worthless. His feelings for were still there… vividly celebrating in his heart. He felt sick… he was with Haley now and was with Rick. He needed to stop those feelings to overcome him again and again. But what was he supposed to do?
He looked to his right where a mirror hung on the wall. He positioned him right in front of it and looked at the reflection. He wasn’t a guy who would let down other people. Haley relied on him now! She had moved in with him! She had left Bristol to live with him! She had left her family to be with him! And what was he supposed to do now. Tell her he had feelings for that were not really based on friendship? Why was everything so complicated? If had said yes to him in Canada that one day he wouldn’t have fallen for Haley momentarily and wouldn’t have urged his desperate feelings for into the back of his mind. rubbed his forehead. No, he wasn’t allowed to let people down.
He was with Haley. The lovely Haley… Haley who was one of the sweetest and warmest people he had ever met. He was not letting her down!

Chapter 11

“What’s wrong with you?” asked Haley when they all stood in front of a gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. had been looking up at the bony dinosaur looking thoughtfully. Haley had noticed his change of mood when he had arrived back to the lounge with Rick and .
He looked down at her smiling wearily. “Nothing.”
“You seem lost in thoughts” she tried again speaking so quietly that only he could hear. She looked concerned which broke ’s heart even more. It wasn’t the fact that he didn’t like her. He somehow did love her… but it just wasn’t the same thing with . When he thought of her image would pop into his head immediately. Her laugh would echo in his head and he would see her smile. His whole body would start longing and it would make it hard for him to catch his breath. Just the thought of her would bring a smile on his face. She didn’t need to be there… she didn’t need to say a word nor did she need to touch him. He just felt her presence everywhere and that was enough to make him smile.
“Just a hard day, really” he played down the issue. Haley nodded and put her head back down onto his shoulder while he still embraced her with his left arm.
“Rick” suddenly called. Both turned around to see her sitting on a tree. Haley started to giggle while observed the whole situation. “Help me down” she called already erupting into fits of laughter. It appeared that Rick took a photo of her while she decided to pose on the tree.
“Aw, you can come down yourself, lady” he teased. “You’ve made your bed now lay in it.”
“I swear, Rick-“ threatened with a huge smile on her face.
“Jeez” Haley heard sighing annoyed. He rolled his eyes and turned back to the dinosaur.
“Shall we head forward?” asked looking at the others.
“Rick” repeated . Rick shook his head and moved forward. “Jump I’ll catch you.”
“Are you crazy?” asked .
“Joking” he laughed and stepped right in front of her. turned around to sit on her knees, her bum showing in his direction.
“What a view” he claims causing to giggle again.
“Stop it, would you?”
“Come on then” he said already stretching his hands out to help her. pushed herself slowly down the limb. So that she would dangle on it. Meanwhile Rick grabbed her on her bum helping her to get down. Once she was safely on the ground she turned around to him and nudged his side.
“Enjoyed the ride?”
He grinned and winked at her before she linked her arm with his and both made their way towards the group.

Throughout the day the group had seen every possible attraction that could be found in the animal kingdom and by the end of a very exhausting day they gathered together in the hotel bar. The girls were sitting by a nice fire place whereas the guys were having pints at the table.
glanced over at Rick a bit concerned that he might not find connection to the group but to her big relief they involved him in their conversations. “I can’t believe we wasted a whole day on looking at dead animals” sighed leaning back into the sofa.
“Not all of them were dead” claimed giggling when pulled a face.
“I’m just not interested in animals. Not the slightest, sorry. I mean I like them… it’s just,” she tried to explain, “they’re dead, right?”
“Still, not all of them” repeated again.
“I rather see them jumping around in their natural environment.”
“Like ?” teased earning a high five from . “He’s the tiger, right?”
“That’d make his bed the jungle” added and both of them erupted into fits of laughter.
“You two stop it” complained trying to keep the smirk out of her face.
“So, now honestly” started leaning in. “How is he?” widened her eyes and so did . “!” both cried out loud with grins on their faces.
“What? ’s good, I can tell that.”
“It’s very intimate” whispered stealing a glance at the boys in order to make sure no one has heard ’s question. “Just on a scale from zero to ten” winked causing to giggle even more.
looked at the group of boys and then at . “I’m going to be a real lady and keep quiet about it.”
“Awwww” moaned and fell backwards again but she kept on giggling. That stuff she was drinking was really starting to get into her head. Haley and chuckled along when they saw taking another sip of her drink and spilling nearly half its content onto her blouse.
“Oh, never mind” she giggled after trying to get rid of the stain by touching it a thousand times.
“Then lets get this conversation into another direction” chuckled . “Your first time, what was it like?”
“You mean with ?” asked shocked.
“No, generally” she soothed leaning forward again.
looked into all of the girls faces. “If you must know” she started before clearing her throat, “it was… not good.”
“Oh, it’s getting interesting” laughed leaning closer in. rolled her eyes.
“It’s just… I was nineteen. I didn’t know what to do and certainly he didn’t know what to do. So it ended to be quite a hard piece of work-“ stopped to let the girls finish their laughing before she continued, “but you know it was okay. That way it could only go uphill.”
looked at Haley. “Tell us” she said.
Haley looked awkwardly around. “I’m not sure” she said but decided that it would be stupid not to tell even though she felt embarrassed.
“It was actually really perfect” she recalled.
“Now that’s something new” giggled . “I’ve never heard of the first time being perfect.”
Haley blushed but she knew was just making conversation. “It really was. He had all planned out and so it happened to be… you know-”
“Perfect” added with a huge smile on her lips. Haley nodded and seemed lost in thoughts for a moment but she snapped back when started to speak again.
, it’s your turn” she said with a serious yet teasing expression. She shook her head, “no way I’m going to tell you” she said laughing in disbelief.
“Haley and told us. It’s only fair.”
sighed and let her eyes lingered on Haley for a moment. If she only knew who she would be talking about.
“Oh, okay, then” she said and leaning back to make herself comfortable. “It was… unexpected.”
“Unexpected? How can sex be unexpected?” asked . “I mean, you know when it’s going to happen right. Sooner or later you just know…”
“Yeah that’s right but it came suddenly.”
“Oh, is it going to be a romantic story?” asked Haley totally interested in what was saying.
“It was romantic, yeah” she said, “in a stupid kind of way.”
“Where did it happen?”
“In a boiler room” she said staring into nothingness and a smile appeared on her face. “What were you doing in a bloody boiler room?” laughed .
“I forgot something down there and after choir rehearsal I wanted to fetch it and I got locked in.”


“Are you coming, ?” a girl from the choir asked her after rehearsals. nodded and made her way towards the door. “Oh, shoot” called out loud. “I wanted to fetch something from the basement. I forgot my gym strip down there.”
The girl raised her brows. “Gym strip?”
“Old Gellar asked me to switch off the lights for him in the boiler room and I was stupid enough to leave it there” she explained rolling her eyes. “Don’t wait for me. I go home by myself. See you tomorrow.”
walked down the corridor and turned right. Once she opened the door to the staircase that lead into the basement she startled.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“I was just-“
“Do I smell cigarettes?” she asked inhaling the air.
He stepped from one foot to the other putting his hands into his pockets. “I can’t believe you” she hissed making her way passed him. “You told me you wanted to stop, .”
He followed her while she didn’t intent to lower her pace. “Oh my God” she coughed when she was in front of the boiler’s room. “I can’t believe you smoked in there.”
“Are you going to hold that against me?” he asked.
turned around looking at him her hand already on the heavy metal doorknob. “I don’t know what’s up with you lately.”
“What’s up with me?” he asked in a higher tone. “What are you making such a fuss about me smoking a fag.”
contracted her eyes shaking her head. “I don’t get you” she said angrily opening the door. She stepped inside and looked around. “Now that you’ve spend so much time here, have you seen my bag?”
“What bag?” asked still moody.
“Where my gym strips are in.”
“That was yours?” looked back at him. “Jaha…”
rolled his eyes making her way passed her. “I’ve seen it somewhere in this corner.” He lightened up the small light bulb which gave probably as much light as candle and started to rummage around in the corner. sighed and joined his search.
“Have you put it there?” she asked annoyed.
“No, I haven’t… someone else must have been here and-“
There was a loud bang which made both of them turn around. got up at once and went towards the door. “What did you do?” he asked.
“What do you mean ‘what did I do’? I just went-“
“You locked us“
“What?” she cried out loud in disbelief making her way towards him. Just when she reached him he stepped aside to show her that the door was not having a handle from the inside.
“No way” she mumbled. “We’re locked inside this stupid room?”
“And I don’t even have cigarettes with me” he claimed annoyed hitting the door.
, for Christ’s sake, stop behaving like that” she yelled.
“What? Do you want me to dance around, having a ball now that you got us locked?”
looked at him and shook her head. “I don’t know you anymore.”
glanced at her closely. “I’m going to university” he said after a few moments of silence. looked at the floor when he said those words but her head shot up the moment he finished the sentence. “What?” she asked in a quiet tone.
“I signed in for university and they accepted me.”
“So that’s why you’re behaving like that?” she asked tears about to sting up in her eyes. “Because you’re going to university?”
“I guess my music career is over even before it started and… you-“
“What me?” she said.
“The university is in England… we won’t see each other much and I know that sooner or later you will find someone else.”
looked at him in disbelief. “Are you totally insane?”
“What? Aren’t you? Look at you, . There are tons of guys out there who want to have a piece of you and I’m not going to be around. You have your needs too.”
She didn’t believe her ears. “But I’m not a piece of meat!”
looked at her heartbroken. “I just don’t want you to wait for me if you develop feelings for someone else.”
“I won’t develop feelings for someone else” she cried, “because I love you. And you cannot drive me away. Not with your damn smoking, nor with the miles that will separate us.”
She moved closer to him. “You are my only need, ” she said and flung her arms around his neck. “Don’t say ever again that I might be with someone else.”
squeezed her firmly, inhaling her scent. She moved back from his shoulder and looked him in the eyes. “I love you” she said once more. “You’re breaking my heart when you talk like that.”
kissed her cheek slowly trailing his fingers down her back, “I’m sorry.”
looked him in the eyes before she leaned in and started to kiss his face with soft butterfly kisses.

* * *

“What happened then?” asked with a twinkle in her eyes. had told the story of course without ever mentioning the guy’s name. She looked at and smiled sheepishly.
“We kind of got carried away…”
“You did it in school? You’ve had your first time in school?” asked out loud before cracking up. threw a pillow in her direction and laughed along. “It wasn’t the school really. It could have been any boiler room.”
“But it was the school’s one” laughed along.
“Oh you stupid girls” laughed and folded her arms in front of her chest.
“So who was it?” asked suddenly causing everyone to look at . The smile disappeared out of her face.
felt a harsh nudge in her side to find shaking her head. At once she understood what mistake she had done. Haley looked at waiting for an answer.
“What are you doing, girls?”
His voice broke the tension and everyone paid their attention to the group of guys that had just arrived at the couches. felt how Rick sat down next to her wrapping an arm around her shoulder. She smiled up at him while taking a shy sip from her red wine.
“We’re talking dirty” laughed snuggling up to .
“Dirty?” asks once he sat behind . “What were you talking about?” he asked.
told us about her first time-“ she replied innocently.
Suddenly started to cough. Everyone looked at him but who threw a threatening glance at once she looked ’s way.
“Are you alright?” asked Haley concerned. She had patted ’s back because he swallowed up his beer.
“Yeah, just… I breathed in the wrong moment” he said holding up his beer bottle. He glanced quickly at before taking another sip. chuckled and turned back to .
“So are we going to bed?”
agreed and one after another everyone made their way into their rooms. Soon found herself alone with Rick, Haley and .
“Shall we go upstairs?” asked Rick sleepily.
nodded and got up so the other two decided to do the same. “I can’t wait to crash” sighed Haley rubbing her neck. “I hate being jet lagged.”
They all stepped inside the lift and an awkward silence filled the space. glanced over at who hadn’t looked at her since spread the word about what the girls had been talking about. The door opened and everyone stepped outside. When they passed and ’s room they heard giggling but tried to ignore the desire to laugh. It was weird walking down the corridor in this group. Above all now that Rick knew about and knew about their sex-conversation and Haley knowing about… nothing at all!
“Good night then” smiled Rick sliding his card through the slot that makes the door open. glanced at Rick, “you go first. I need to talk to first” she smiled at Rick. He nodded and shut the door behind him. who overheard ’s request waited in front of his door while Haley gave them the space to talk and went inside.
coughed uncomfortably and nodded towards a seating area at the end of the corridor. followed her to the seats wondering how she was going to talk her way out of the events that happened this evening. He sat down on a lazy chair while she decided to go for the sofa. realized that this was not going to work so before she started talking she got up again and sat down onto the massive coffee table made of wood in front of . She leaned onto her knees and looked at him. She knew that this was going to be a heated conversation.


Chapter 12

“So…” she started looking him in the eyes. “How are you?”
glanced at her with furrowed brows. “Are you joking?” “Not such a good start, hu?”
“You talked about our sex?” he hissed quietly afraid someone might eavesdrop. “I didn’t mention your name” she said in defence although she knew that probably everyone must have known who she had been talking about.
“Still, !” he said upset. “The girls know about us… everyone but Haley.”
“That’s not my fault that she doesn’t know, okay” now started to get angry too.
“Oh don’t bring that up” he said dismissingly. “I told you why I can’t tell her.”
“Oh yeah, right… because I’m ‘the ex’!” mimed the quotation s getting up from the table. She shook her head and glanced again at .
“Just imagine what would have happened if she knew and you talked about our first time.”
looked at him contracting her brows. “I would have told her I had it with someone different.”
“With whom?” asked challenging her.
thought for a moment. “Ian Brady!”
“Ian Brady?” repeated amused yet irritated. The image of Ian flashed inside his head… he was the good-looking heartthrob at school. Every girl desired and wanted to be with him whereas the boys wanted to be either like him or friends with him. He was the athlete that won the trophies and the boy who made every girl wanting to attend the drama class. remembered how happy he was when he found out that the only thing Ian was really bad at was singing.
“Ian? Are you kidding me?” asked and started to smile because she noticed that started to feel uncomfortable by the mention of Ian’s name. Little did he know that really did have a fling with him.
“Why do you act that surprised?”
“Because,” started scratching the back of his head while getting up from the couch, “that’d be ridiculous.”
“What exactly would be ‘ridiculous’, ?” asked and although this change of subject was actually supposed to be funny she now realised that it had such a deeper meaning then expected. She started to get real tensed.
“You and Ian… come on” he said laughing.
glanced at him for a moment. He was really making fun of her right now. He found it impossible that might have had something with Ian. Before she knew it the words already slipped, “To your information, we did have sex. Unfortunately he wasn’t the first guy I had it with because to your relief this trophy goes to you.”
stood in front of her gobsmacked. “Wait… you and Ian… umm…”
“Yeah me and Ian ‘ummed’!!!” snapped .
glanced at her when she stood up talking in a hissing tone. “When?”
“What?” she asked bewildered. “What the hell do you care?”
“You didn’t… well…”
“What, cheated on you? No, we were no longer together if you must know.”
“I wasn’t about to ask that” he defended himself but of course it was the question he wanted to ask. So had slept with someone else… There was a long moment of silence between them.
She shook her head and turned around so that her back showed to his direction. “I actually don’t know why we’re talking about this. It happened years ago” and when she said those words she looked over her shoulder to stress the meaning of her words. “Look, I didn’t mean to humiliate you in any way. The girls and I were just so caught up in our stories that I kind of got carried away. And if this subject comes up ever again I swear I will not say who it was.”
“But your not going to tell it was Ian either, are you?” he asked still thinking about what had just ‘confessed’.
She looked at him irritatingly and shook her head. “Would you just drop it, for heaven’s sake?”
“Maybe I was overreacting” he claimed innocently. “It’s just… ” he now went over to her and touched her arms while looking at her. “Haley means a lot to me and I don’t want her to be scared off.”
looked at him and sighed. “No more talking about my ex lovers then” she said looking in his hazel eyes. contracted his brows… “Lovers? How many did you have?”
rolled her eyes and went down the corridor. “Good night, ” she said waving her hand while walking.

The next morning woke up to the sound of her mobile playing “Blister in the sun” by Violent Femmes and she started to smile. She always loved to dance along her room listening to the song. She pressed the green button holding the phone to her ear. “Listening” she said in a sleepy voice.
Rick turned around on his back and leaned on his elbows listening to talking. “What?” she said sitting up straight. “So they decided that someone was better, hu?” she asked wryly. “Okay, no deal, Helen” she rubbed her forehead. “Maybe the next audition.”
She closed her phone and looked to Rick painting a smile on her lips.
“Who was it?” he asked.
“Oh just… Helen, my agent.”
“Bad news?” he asked.
got up from the bed and rubbed her eyes avoiding his glance pretending everything was fine. “Oh, there was just this audition I went to and they finally decided that I’m not the one.”
“Are you okay, ?” he asked leaning on his right elbow glancing up on her. She faced him and flashed a smile. “Yeah. It was a stupid film anyway.” She grabbed her clothes and went into the bathroom.

“So where are heading today?” asked once they were all gathered at the two breakfast tables.
“How about the Epcot?” suggested . No one disagreed so soon after breakfast they made their way over to this theme park.
slowed down his pace excusing himself to Haley but he needed to talk to . Once he was walking next to him she signalised he wanted to have a private word with her boyfriend.
“What’s up?” asked irritated by his sudden need of privacy.
had slept with Ian” he whispered leaning over ’s shoulder. First didn’t react at all before he realized what meant, or rather who he meant.
“No way” he said starting to giggle. “I always knew he had the hots for her…”
“What?” asked out loud causing and looking over their shoulders.
slowed down and started to giggle. “He asked me once if you and were dating.”
“What did you tell him?”
“That you weren’t… because officially you weren’t” he added when he saw ’s face. “What?”
“It’s like you invited him to sleep with ” he said.
rolled his eyes and stopped . They were the last in the group so no one noticed. “What’s up with you? Why do you act so touchy?”
“I don’t act touchy…”
“You did consider that has also slept with other men, didn’t you?” asked .
“Of course I did” lied . Truth was he had never imagined having a real love life after they broke up. She was always the sweet, innocent girl he knew from the school choir.
“Oh Lord, ?” asked in disbelief when felt silent for a few moments. “You do realize that she might also be sleeping with Rick, right? She’s over you… she moved on. You should do the same.”
“I’m already sleeping with Haley” he said.
“I really didn’t want to know that plus I was not talking about sex. I mean she had moved on mentally.”
looked at and nodded. “You’re right… I should just forget about the sex story and focus on my businesses.”
figured it would be best. He couldn’t let go of his feelings for if he still reacted that jealous. It was still beyond his imation how such news about affected him but he needed to let it go… for good.
patted him on the shoulder and smiled. “Right,” he smiled and both started to walk again, “so how are things with you and Haley?”
“Good, you know” he said still thinking about . “She moved in and we’re happy.”
“Are you?” checked raising his brows. looked at him sideways and nodded determined. “Yes, we’re happy… I’m happy. She’s happy. We’re both happy.”
glanced at him and shook his head. “You’re so easy to see through.”
raised his brows. “You still like , don’t you?” asked carefully causing to look ahead. Once he realised no one was actually paying attention to them he nodded.
“And still you moved in with Haley?”
“I like Haley too” he said, “just not as much as I do .” “Forget about , . You have to promise me that.”
He looked his friends in the eyes. “I’ll give my best” he said. “I know I can’t do this to Haley-“
“Guys!” they didn’t realized that they had stopped walking. They turned to who was waving her hand. “Are you coming? We’re heading for Germany” she said pointing with her finger towards the German section in Epcot.

“Oh look” called over ’s shoulder towards everyone. “It’s ‘Oktoberfest’…”
“And we’re not even having October yet” claimed rolling her eyes. “Hey, there’s a stage” stated pointing towards the little lit stage in a tent. They stepped inside…
“It’s a play” whispered once they have seen two people standing on it playing.
“It’s not a play” whispered back already turning around. “It’s an audition.”
Once they realised that they were probably disturbing they made their way outside again following down the road. “That’s what an audition looks like?” asked bewildered.
“Not really” claimed . “Those are usually more private but this is Disney World, right. So it’s not really that surprising.”
shrugged her shoulders and linked her arm with . “Anyway, let’s go and see France” she smiled and walked towards the other section. Rick reached who suddenly became very quiet.
“What’s up?” he asked Putting his arms around her shoulder smiling down at her. flashed a smile and shook her head, “nothing. Let’s go and see France” she said taking a look back at the tent.


Chapter 13
The sun was about to sink when everyone gathered around the fireplace once more. It was the last night of their trip and the following morning they’d have to catch the plane back to London. “So when will the tour start off?” asked Haley into the round looking at the lads.
“In a week from now” stated taking a sip from his beer while leaning back into the couch.
“I hope all of you will come to Belfast when we kick off, right?” asked . Everyone nodded and cheered. suddenly jumped when she felt her mobile vibrating in her pocket. She excused herself and went into the lobby. Rick watched her leaving before his attention got drawn back to the guys.
“So Rick, you’re nervous?” asked .
He shook his head. “Well, not really. I’m just in the background right… and I’m pretty good at what I’m doing so no need to wet my pants for that so far. It would be of course a totally different story if I needed to sing.”
“You’re not good at singing?” asked over the giggles of the girls.
“Please, people would sue me if I sang along to Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, which just by the way is a great song!”
“Just a small town girl…” sang quietly to himself.
“Living in a lonely world…” added .
“She took the midnight train going anywhere” sang Haley and everyone started giggling.
“It’s a classic” smiled Rick. “Such a pity I will never be able to sing it again.”
Everyone chuckled again and didn’t realise returning. She sat down next to Rick again and looked at the round. “What’s so funny?”
“Journey” giggled .
“The band?” asked earning a nod. “A singer in a smoky room… a smell of wine and cheap perfume” added singing to herself.
“I tell you, this song is like an addiction. Once you hear the name you can’t help but sing it straight along…” claimed laughing at ’s Journey impression.
“True” she smiled and pulled her knees closed to her body. “So let us have some champagne” she smiled. “Let’s celebrate Journey’s ‘Don’t stop believing’ and our last night here in Disney World.”
The ordered some champagne and celebrated the evening. tried her best to feel happy but she couldn’t forget the phone call she had received. It felt like her mind was divided and her heart and brain were having a fight over what to do next.
“Are you okay, ?” asked Haley who had seen standing outside on the balcony.
turned around and leaned against the railing. She went outside to get some grip on her thoughts but it seemed not possible. Looking at Haley she smiled and shook her head slowly. The glass touched her lips and she took a sip from her champagne.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I can’t talk about it right now” she said honestly flashing a weary smile at her. She shook her head telling herself to calm down. “Hey, is your hair ?” she asked Haley after realising that the colour indeed changed.
“Yes” she smiled. “I decided to get more ” she smiled.
Haley looked shyly away. “You won’t get angry with me when I tell you, will you?”
“Of course not, Haley. Just tell me…”
“Sometimes” she started and paused trying to find the right words but there was actually no other way then just saying it how it was. “I feel intimidated…”
“What? Why? Who intimidates you?”
“You” she said looking into ’s eyes that looked taken aback. “What?” she asked.
“You don’t do it on purpose I know that, but I just feel like I need to be like you…”
“What are you talking about, Haley? You don’t… who on earth would wanted to be like me?”
“Are you kidding me? You’re like everybody’s buddy… you joke with everyone and you’re smart and pretty and everyone loves you-“
“But I’m not like that. You are seeing this all wrong. What makes you think that?” asked shocked.
“The way everybody looks at you… the way looks at you.”
Haley glanced inside looking at talking to . followed her glance and was lost for words.
“Well, sometimes the way he looks at you makes me wonder why he doesn’t pick you, you know. Why is he with me when he could have you?”
looked into Haley’s broken eyes and felt terrible. “ and I… we’re friends. He’s not interested in me. He’s with you, Haley.”
“He’s with you because you’re not me. Because you are who you are. He’s with you because he loves you. Isn’t that enough for you?”
“Then why do I have the feeling that I need to measure up with you? I feel threatened even though I know you don’t want him. You don’t want him, do you?”
shook her head. “No… no.”
Haley rubbed her forehead. “I shouldn’t have told you this, I’m sorry, .”
“Don’t be. Now I know what you feel…”
“I don’t want this to come between us, okay. I like you and I know that my thoughts are just me being paranoid.”
nodded and hugged her but she could let go of the feeling in her heart.
stood by the baggage carousel and waited for her suitcase to appear. She sighed when it still wasn’t there. “Is it still not appearing?” asked Rick walking up behind her. She shook her head and sat down onto the trolley he had brought. His suitcase was already positioned on it.
“Maybe your stuff was supposed to stay in the states” he joked and kissed her head from behind. “Do you mind when we’re already heading home?” asked looking at who started to swing her feet.
“Nah, you can leave. We’ll see you tomorrow anyway” she said and waved everyone goodbye.
“What’s wrong with you ?” asked Rick when everyone left. He had noticed being absent-minded for the past couple of days. She flashed a smile at him and shook her head. “Nothing, I’m feeling fine. Really” she added putting a bigger smile on her lips.
“Tell me…”
“There are just a lot of things on my mind.”
“Then why don’t you ease your mind by telling me what’s wrong. You can trust me, .”
She looked deeply in his eyes and took a deep breath. She really needed to tell someone about it and within a split of a second she finally decided to tell him.

was walking into the living room to find Haley sitting on the couch quietly. He had already unpacked and was now looking forward to spend some time relaxing on the couch. Haley startled when he dropped down beside her.
“Why so jumpy?” he asked flashing a smile at her. He put an arm around her shoulder and grabbed the remote.
“I’m late” she stated restrained.
“Late? Late for what?” he asked zapping through the channels.
“I’m late in my menses” she clarified taking a look at him. nearly dropped the remote. He looked at her but didn’t respond. It took him a while until he found his voice back. “What?” he asked unsure.
“I should have gotten them at least a week ago” she said. “Even before our trip to Orlando.” “But we protected-“
“I know” she said.
“How can… I mean… you sure?”
“No… I’m just saying I’m late and I’m very nervous right now.”
dropped the remote and faced her. “We’re going to see a doctor” he said.
“What if I’m pregnant?” she asked tears filling her eyes.
“You’re not pregnant” he claimed.
“What if I am?” she stated more forcefully.
“Then you are…”
“’Then you are’?” she repeated, “that’s all you have to say?”
got up looking lost. “What do you expect me to say? I-I-I’m as lost as you are…”
“Well some comfort would be great for a change.”
“You want me to tell you to not worry? I cannot tell you that…”
“Can you even imagine having a child with me?” asked Haley and got up from the couch tears rolling down her cheeks.
“I don’t know, Haley. I haven’t thought about it. We just started being a couple… I mean you just moved in.”
“I bet you could imagine having a child with , couldn’t you?”
looked at her gobsmacked. “What did you just say?” “I leave” she stated and rushed past him.
“Where are you going?” he called after her but the front door already shut behind her. Standing a few moments in the middle of the living room tried to catch his breath but it didn’t work. Within a split of a second his world got turned around and he sorely realised that everything he had secretly wanted was over.

took a sip from her mug. She was exhausted from the flight and after Rick had taken her home she decided to get her mind off the thoughts she had since the states. The rain was pouring down from the grey London sky and reflected her mood. She didn’t bother lighting up the room… she just switched on the television and let the screen illuminate the room in a grey shimmer. Once she was about to drop down onto her couch there was a knock at her door. Positioning the mug on the coffee table she went to the door.
?” she asked worried. There he was standing in front of her soaked wet. It was about 7 degrees Celsius and he was just wearing a grey pullover, his jeans and chucks. His hair lay flat on his face and drops of rain were rolling off his nose. He breathed in and out heavily.
“What happened? Come in…” she said but he didn’t move.
“Haley” he mumbled lost in thoughts and just then he locked his eyes with ’s. “She may be pregnant” he added helplessly. eyes stared into his… he took on step forward putting both his hands on each side of her face. felt the cold and wet fabric on her face and the coldness in his hands but she didn’t care. He pressed his lips on hers and she allowed it to happen… she needed it to happen…


Chapter 14
looked onto the ceiling. Her tears won’t stop rolling down her face. She felt ’s eyes on her but she didn’t care that he saw her cry. She didn’t sob she didn’t wail… she just let her tears roll down her face. The rain was still hammering against the window pane and the noise filled the whole room. turned her head to the left and looked at who just stared at her.
“Pregnant” she whispered and another flood of tears rolled down her face.
nodded and his face froze. “I didn’t plan it.”
put her hand on his cheek and smiled wearily.
“You need to stay with her” she said and it seemed like her voice was getting lower and lower.
“I know” he said.
sat up straight and pulled the duvet over her chest. She slid her feet over the edge and turned her back on him.
“We will never talk about what happened” she said rubbing the tears from her cheek.
“Sure” said looking at her bare tanned back.
“I’m moving to Los Angeles” she said shakily. sat straight up as well. “What?” he asked shocked. He hoped he misunderstood but when didn’t continue talking he knew that she was being serious.
“Remember when we were in Epcot… in the Germany section where there was this audition?”
nodded and “ahumed” when he realised that she still had her back turned to him. “I went to that audition the same evening. They called me on our last night in Orlando telling me I got the part in this tv show. I need to move to Burbank for that…”
“You agreed? I mean… did you accept this part?” he asked.
turned to him and it broke her heart when he saw her red teary eyes. “I confirmed yesterday. I had this talk with Haley and I realised that it would be best. I haven’t had a single job for over a year now, . My savings won’t last forever. Los Angeles is a big chance…”
“What talk with Haley?” asked surprised yet taken aback.
looked at him and her mouth started to twitch. It was hard for her to keep calm. “She told me she felt intimidated by me. … she feels like I can take you away from her.”
“So?” he asked.
“So?” she repeated bewildered. “… she’s right. I’m not over you… and I think I’ll never be. But this pregnancy-“
“Possible pregnancy” corrected .
“Well, this possible pregnancy then, it changes everything. If she carries your child I’m not the one who destroys a family. I accepted this part because I didn’t want to hurt her but now… I can ruin not only her life but yours and the baby’s too.”
, don’t talk like that.”
“It’s too late, . I think finally the time’s up” she said tears rolling down her cheeks so she needs to twinkle a few times. A smile appears but it was only half-heartedly. Everything seemed so ironic and tragic at the same time.
“You’re leaving me” he claimed looking at her.
“Yes” she said although she first wanted to deny. “, you’re with Haley. You have made a commitment. You have responsibilities now. This was goodbye” she added with another sob.
“When will you leave?” he asked touching her shoulder longing be close to her.
“At the end of the week. I need to do some office things… I don’t know. Cancelling my lease contract and… stuff.”
“You’re not going to be in Belfast?” he asked desperate.
shook her head. “No… I won’t be there” she said and breathed in deeply before she lost control and started crying again, “I will miss you, ” she flung her arms around him. She snuggled her face into his neck and hot tears were rolling down his back. inhaled her scent and pulled her closer. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. His whole life seemed to be falling apart. A couple of hours ago everything seemed alright and now he realised just how much he loved and it was too late.
Haley was pregnant and was moving away. That was not the way he wanted it to end- never.
“It’s better if you go now” she said after she gathered herself together. She pulled away and climbed out of the bed. She grabbed her bra and her pyjama pants and pulled them on. looked at her and got up as well. He pulled on his wet cloths and followed her out of the living room.
“Will we see each other before you go?”
didn’t respond. “, I need to see you before the tour kicks off-“
She looked at him and nodded. “Fine. Just come around…”
“I’ll be here on Friday evening.”
He leaned in kissed her forehead. His lips lingered a while there, taking in the feeling and the moment. This was it. opened the door and he left. He walked down the corridor and the moment he reached the staircase he turned around to take one more look at but the door was closed.
was just about to lock the door when he heard a knock. Looking through the spy he startled at the sight before him. Quickly he opened the door allowing to step inside.
“What happened to you?”
started to laugh and swayed towards the living room. locked the door and followed his friend.
?” he asked unsure what to do. “Are you drunk?”
“Drunk? Yeah… I think so” he chuckled and stopped abruptly. “Shh… don’t tell Haley.”
“Why?” asked bewildered.
“Because” he chuckled and opened his eyes up wide, “she wouldn’t want to have a child by a drunk cheating bastard.”
He laughed and dropped down onto the couch. “What are you talking about?”
“Haley’s pregnant” he cheered. He threw his hands in the air miming a Mexican wave before he dropped down again. His laughter faded and he looked up at .
“Pregnant” he said and tears were stinging up.
looked at him. “You’re not happy…”
shook his head. “Not…”
“You’re sure she is?”
nodded and pulled out his mobile phone. “She texted me…”
took hold of the phone and read the message. “Test was positive…” was everything that it held. He returned the mobile to and contracted his brows. “Let me guess… . She’s the reason you’re like that” he said nodding towards him.
“That’s not how I wanted my life to be, . I always thought -“
“That and you would grow old together?” he asked getting angry now. “, for God’s sake. Face it… she’s over you-“
“She’s not” he said calmly. “She’s not and she never will be when I can believe her words.”
“What are you talking-“
“I was with her, . When Haley told me she might be pregnant I went to see …”
“Tell me you were sober when you went to see her.”
“I was… I’ve never been more sober in my whole life.”
“Thank goodness” exhaled sitting down on the chair. He leaned forward and glanced at . “What did you do there?”
“I told her and then… we goodbyed” he phrased it that way. He didn’t want to tell him what he did was wrong. He didn’t want to look at him in disgust.
“Goodbyed? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“She’s leaving London… she moves to L.A.”
It was like could see ’s face losing all life. His mouth dropped open and his eyes lost their glances. “Los Angeles?”
“She’s leaving me, .”
got up and paced the room. “Stop thinking about her.”
“What?” asked bewildered.
“Haley’s pregnant, . Stop thinking about .”
“I can’t stop thinking about her. She’s the only thing I think about since high school.”
“Things have changed, though!” yelled looking angrily at . “Things have changed” he added this time calmer.
“Haley’s pregnant.”
looked at .
“You shouldn’t even be here” he said. “I bet Haley’s home scared to death because of this news. She needs you now… stop being selfish. You need to be there… for her and for the baby.”
left the room and returned a few moments later with a towel and some fresh clothes. He threw the clothes and the towel towards . “We need to get you sober. You’re taking a shower and I make you some eggs or something. Then I will drive you home…”
“I don’t want to go home” said . “I don’t want to see Haley.”
“Well, your loss because you’re going to” and with these words he turned around and walked into the kitchen. exhaled and went upstairs.
was waiting at the top of the stairs. Looking at she shook her head.
“She’s leaving?” she asked and tears stung up her eyes. nodded and before he knew it turned around and walked into the bedroom closing the door behind her.
opened the door to the bedroom.
had driven him home even though he didn’t feel like going. Once the door was open Haley looked at him. Her eyes were swollen and red. She was crying desperate tears. When hearing the door being opened her head shot up and she was looking at . Another flood of tears were running down her cheeks. She led the tissue to her nose and sobbed hard. didn’t know what to say; the picture broke his heart. He didn’t realize it but his legs were already doing the work for him. He hurried over to Haley’s side and embraced her. He felt relief running through Haley’s body as she cried even harder. She pulled him in closely not wanting to lose the feeling of him being there for her.
“I’m s-s-s-sorry” she said in between sobs. just shook his head. He couldn’t find the right words… he didn’t want to find the right words. He was still in shock but he knew things have changed. And he had to face it… now.


Chapter 15

“Oh my goodness” giggled when she entered ’s apartment the next morning. She brought coffee and some bagels and was about to tell the most exciting news ever.
“You never believe what happened to me” she smiled turning around seeing closing the door.
“Never” confirmed looking at amused.
“I was asked to design a clothing line for River Island” she beamed looking happily into ’s eyes. “Arghh” squeaked and ran over to hug her friend. “That’s amazing…”
“I know” she beamed even more.
“It’s a summer collection. So I’m in for bikinis and dresses and skirts and tops and shorts and flip flops”, she laughed.
shook her head but couldn’t hide a smile. “I’m so thrilled.”
“Butterfly Kisses is going to get big. They said if my stuff’s selling well we might go abroad” she said. “America even.”
“Oh that’s even cooler. So I get to buy them over there as well” giggled .
“Yeah, well, yeah if you like to. But that’d be stupid… you get them over here. It’s closer than America” chuckled . turned around and looked at . She feared this subject but it needed to be said.
“Maybe not” she said.
“Maybe what not?”
“Maybe it’s not closer.”
’s smile faded and she looked at . “Are you trying to tell me something?”
nodded her head. “I’m moving to LA.”
“Aww” said looking said. “Another two months gone? Well, that’s alright. I can deal with two months. So what film are you filming?”
, not two months-“
“Three?” she asked already a bit nervous. shook her head. “Well, four’s long but… like I said. I can deal with it-“
“I don’t know when I’ll be back- if I’ll be back” she stressed carefully. looked at with tears flooded eyes.
“You don’t know?”
“I cancelled my lease contract today. And I received a permission to work in the US for two years-“
“Two years?” repeated .
“I don’t know how long I’m going to be there. I might come back sooner-“
“Or later” added and a tear rolled down her cheek.
” said and took a few steps forward. “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to make you cry-“
“Don’t be sorry. It’s your job-“
“It is” she confirmed warmly.
“So I’m going to see you on television now?” she asked trying to sound happy. And she was but still it was hard to show her excitement when sadness flooded her body.
“Yes. It’s a comedy show.”
“Comedy” repeated . “Something you always wanted to do-“
nodded. “Does know?” asked looking at whose expression changed when she heard his name.
She swallowed and took her time before she answered. She tried not to think about too much. When he left yesterday afternoon she had cried as long as she finally fell asleep. And in the morning she refused to cry more tears. She just told herself it was enough. But she knew that when she started to think about it again, the tears would fall down immediately. She already felt a burning need to shed some tears but she swallowed them again and nodded.
“Yes, I talked to him yesterday.”
“Oh” was everything said. knew that she had hoped that would be able to convince her to stay but… this hope had disappeared. watched her taking off her coat. “What are you doing?” she asked confused.
“First we eat our breakfast” she said bravely. “Then I help you pack” she added and smiled at her. “I don’t want you to be left alone with this” she said and just then she started to cry. And her tears caused ’s tears to fall down as well.

After left found herself alone in her flat. She looked around and couldn’t believe what was happening in her life. Within a couple of days it had turned upside down. was going to be a father and she was accepting a part in a sitcom on the other side of the world.
Before she knew it another tear escaped her eye. A lot of her belongings were already packed neatly in the cardboard boxes, ready to be flown over to the states.


“Here” smiled at and handed her an envelope.
“What’s that?” she asked taking it into her hands. She was sitting with in his room listening to music.
“Just something” he said turning around walking towards the window. He heard her ripping the envelope open and silence followed her actions. He turned slowly around looking at her. had her eyes fixed on the contend.
?” she asked unsure.
“Hmm?” he responded.
“A ring?”
There it was in the white envelope. A silver ring with a little crystal in the middle. She took it out of the envelope and hold it up in the air. Her glance wandered to who looked at her uncertain. “What’s that supposed to be?” she asked.
“Like you said, a ring.”
“I know what it is... but why?”
He went over and sat down next to her on his bed. He took the ring and pulled it onto her finger. “It’s a gift. From me to you...”
“Yeah, but... why?” asked again. She was still lost for appropriate words.
“Because I love you and I want you to have something that reminds you of me when I’m gone for university.”
looked at him and smiled. “I love you, too” she said.
“But you’re crazy...” She put her hands on his cheeks and started to place butterfly kisses on his face. “I love, love, love you-“

* * *
The phone rang and got up from the couch. The phone seemed terribly echoing in her flat and it wasn’t even empty. Most of her things were put in boxes but her whole furniture was still where it belonged. had decided to sell that furniture to the renter in order to get some money. It wasn’t because of the money she did this, of course. It was simply because of the fact that it would make no sense to ship everything to the states. intended to start anew... trying to get lost of those feelings and thoughts of . And this furniture was not allowing her a new start...


“Why did you call me again?” asked sleepily when he and made their way down a long street in London. vThe street was empty and it was the middle of the night. The streetlight lightened up the pavement allowing them to see the ground.
“I want to show you something” she beamed pulling her coat together. rolled his eyes. He was incredibly tired. It was one of the first nights of their first tour and was staying in London so she could be close to . Little did he know that his girlfriend was out and about with his band mate.
“I want to go back to bed” whined snuggling into his scarf.
“You will” she said and came to an abrupt hold, “but first you have to see this.”
She put her hand into her pocket and pulled out a key. Once she unlocked the door she got inside being followed by .
“Who did you steal it from?” asked amused.
“I did not steal it” giggled . She went up the stairs into the second floor. Then she hurried along a corridor and stopped in front of a door. She turned to and smiled. He looked around and pulled a face.
“Where are we?” he said feeling uncomfortable standing in a dark corridor. “It’s a bit dark, isn’t it?” “Yeah, I know. The lights need to be fixed” she smiled and put another key into the lock. The door clicked and pushed it open. She showed and followed him closing the door behind him. She turned the lights on and the whole room got enlightened with a warm light.
needed to blink a few times until he realised what he saw. There in front of him was a big living room already furnished and ready to be used.
“Wha-“ he started but couldn’t finish the word.
“I rented this flat” she smiled putting the keys next the phone on the little table in the corner of the room. The walls were beige and the couch was in a brown shade. The furniture was in dark oak and on the walls hung a lot of different pictures and right there one of and . Next to the living room was the open kitchen, also already furnished. It was a very American looking kitchen but it was perfect and knew that it was a place everyone would feel comfortable.
“Why did you rent it?” he asked suddenly feeling not tired anymore.
“Look, I know that ’s going to be a lot in London and the UK in general, so I thought I rented us a flat and I’d move to London as well.”
“Just to be with him?”
“Above all to be with him and of course I’ve got more chances becoming an actress here than in Ireland.”
looked at her and shook his head. “He’s going to love this” he smiled.
“You think so?” she asked unsure.
“I know so” he smiled hugging her.
“Okay but don’t tell him now... I want to wait until I’m finished with school next month, alright?”
nodded and his face suddenly turned thoughtful. “Hey, if I’m allowed to ask... how could you even afford all this?” he asked motioning to his surroundings.
blushed and rubbed her forehead. “I always knew that I wanted to become an actress and that I needed to move away from Ireland. And it was either London or Los Angeles. So I saved money from the age of nine. It wasn’t really much at the beginning but once I started baby-sitting and I got employed at that cafe, you know, I treasured up a proud amount.”
“It couldn’t have been enough” claimed.
“Have I ever told you that my parents are very supportive when it comes to pursuing my dreams?” she giggled. “My grandma pays for the rent as long as I don’t have a real job and my parents helped me with the furniture.”
“Mind me, are you rich?” he asked halfway giggling.
“I’m not rich... I just believe that one day I can pay back, you know. And they’re very conscious about my future” she smiled.
“Me too” he smiled. “Come on... I don’t want to go just now. How about we watch some tv?”

* * *

grabbed the phone. “Hello?” she asked.
, speaking” she heard his voice and she inhaled deeply.
“I need to talk to you.”
“I’m very busy right now, .”
“It won’t take long” he assured hopeful she would agree.
“Can’t you just tell me over the phone?” she asked feeling a sharp pain in her chest.
“No, I need to do this face to face.”
She exhaled heavily and agreed. “Fine... come around then.”


Chapter 16
opened the door slowly when she heard a knock. stood in front of her with his hands deep in his pockets and his head held down. Standing there he looked up when he heard the door being opened. Looking into his eyes knew at once what he was about to say.
She would lie if she would have said she didn’t know so. Of course she didn’t want it to be true but it was... was going to be a father. “Congratulations” she whispered but caused only to shake his head.
“I’m going to be a father” he whispered back.
“And a good one” she said while the pain was roaring inside her chest. It made it hard to breath yet she knew she had to be strong.
“Really?” he asked back and suddenly found him close to tears. “I can’t even be a good boyfriend.”
stepped aside and motioned him to come inside.
went towards the couch and dropped down sighing. Once she had closed the door she joined him and touched his knee comfortably. “You are a good boyfriend. You always were and you’ll always be.”
“I wasn’t a good boyfriend. I wasn’t a good one to you nor am I a good one to Haley.”
thought for a moment when she remembered how their relationship found an abrupt end.


She shook her head and suppressed a sob. “Stop it!” she said not so strong anymore.
“DID YOU WRITE THEM?” he asked loudly.
“NO!” she yelled back.
“I DO!”
“YES!” she yelled back feeling all the anger and the hurt that wanted to let her tears fall down being replaced by pride. She was not going to cry… not in front of him.
“Yeah, I did, happy?”
shook his head. “You’re the worst! You prostitute yourself for fame and attention!? I was so wrong about you!”
“OUT!” She pointed towards the door.
“I’D BE GLAD TO!” And with that he dashed out of the room.

* * *

She shook her head, “No, you’ve always been good to me” she said now firmer.
“Don’t you remember?” he asked broken raising his brows.
“That was just that one time... but you’ve never let me down.”
“I did” he whispered looking in her eyes, “I knew you thought about marriage when we were younger.”
Feeling the blood shooting straight into her face she broke the eye contact and breathed in strongly.
“I was young... and naive...”
“And in love?” he asked and could hear his pain with every word he spoke.
“Of course I was in love” she said tears stinging up her eyes causing her to take little short breaths.
, you were the best that’s ever been mine.”
There was a long silence that filled the room. No one spoke... words weren’t strong enough to describe the situation. They both sat on the couch being in each other’s company.
looked at and raised her brows. “Sam?” she asked puzzled.
“I really like that name” he said.
“I like that name too” she smiled and again tears stung up her eyes. She found it impossible that everything that they discussed caused to bring tears into her eyes.
“I always thought we would call one of our kids Sam” he added.
“Don’t say that. Why are you doing this to me?” she asked feeling like there’s no air. “I don’t want to hear this-“
“I’m sorry” he said honestly. “I just thought you should know. I thought about such things too.”
“Isn’t it ironic?” she asked after a while.
“What’s ironic?”
“People never say what they feel unless they know it’s too late. When someone dies you always think about what you could have told him. You suddenly realize that there are things you wanted him to know... but it’s too late. You can’t tell this person because he’s gone. We know it’s too late, -“
“Yeah, it is...”
took a deep breath and closed her eyes and it took all her courage to say the words that were needed to be said. “Haley’s a good girl. She’ll be a good mother to your child. Don’t tell her ever what you feel for me ... this would break her.”
nodded. “I want you to know though that I love you.”
“I love you too” she said and got up because this pain was driving her crazy. It was like someone grabbed her heart and squeezed it. She put her hand in front of her mouth to suppress the sobs and without another word she left her flat.
“Okay guys” chanted when she found everyone sitting in front of her. She clapped her hands in order to get everyone’s attention.
“We need to goodbye her like big time-“
shook her head. “Can’t believe she’s leaving.” “Yeah, just like that. Who’s idea was it to go to the stupid October fest?”
“Mind me” started . “The October fest was good, the tent with the audition was crap.”
“Well, maybe we can rent this pub for a night” suggested Haley. “You know, the one down the road.”
“Well, that’s an idea” agreed .
“So we do it” said and telling everyone afterwards what they were in charge of. “Where’s ?” asked suddenly when she was just about to tell him that he was responsible for the music. “Haley?”
Haley shrugged her shoulders. “He’s very upset lately” she said pretending not to care and as if everything was fine. “I told him about this meeting but he must have forgotten.”
looked from Haley to and back to Haley. “Anyhow” she said, “I will get hold of him later. Don’t you forget people. Everything needs to be-“
“Yeah, perfect, we know, ” sighed rolling his eyes. He paid his attention back to his mobile looking for the number of the catering service.
“Haley” called causing her to turn around. “Could you call and tell him to come around. We really need him here-“
Haley nodded and went outside the boutique. Sitting down onto the stairs she speed dialled his number waiting for him to answer his phone. “Hey, Haley” she heard him saying after a few moments.
, where are you? Have you forgotten about the meeting today?”
“Meeting? What meeting?”
“The farewell party for -“
There was a moment of silence before he answered. “I won’t come-“
“What? Why?”
“I don’t want to support this-“
, don’t be stupid. We’re talking about , remember? One of your best friends. You need to say your goodbye properly.”
“This is not the way to do it properly, sorry Haley.”
And with that the phone call was ended. Haley looked at her mobile shocked and torn between her thoughts. She felt that was not himself lately... to be honest since the day she had told him she was pregnant. And now that was about to leave he was behaving even stranger.
“Haley?” The door behind her opened and peeked outside raising her brows. “What did he say?”
Haley looked at and flashed a smile. “He’d be pleased to.”
“Great” beamed and vanished back inside leaving Haley alone on the stairs.


Chapter 17

It was Thursday morning. The last day would spend in London. Tomorrow she would fly to Los Angeles and only God knew for how long. Regarding this circumstance it was only reasonable that the tour rehearsal wasn’t going to be very cheerful. It was 09:30 am when entered the rehearsing studio.
Tomorrow they’d fly over to Belfast to rehears the show on stage but for today it was only the studio. “Where have you been?” asked Pricilla upset. “You were supposed to be here half an hour ago.”
“I’m sorry... the traffic.”
“It’s always the traffic isn’t it?” she asked. “Anyway, we need to start now.”
“Wait, where’s Rick?” asked one of the dancers. and the other guys looked at Pricilla.
“He had quit” she simply said. “There’s going to be a new dancer. Juan will be here in about an hour.”
“Juan?” asked . “What happened to Rick?”
Pricilla turned around to look at . “He’s moving to Los Angeles tomorrow.”
’s mouth dropped open. Rick was moving to Los Angeles with . “When did he tell you?”
“At the beginning of the week” she said and turned around to face the big mirror, “so I have had plenty of time to show Juan the moves- where are you going?” asked Pricilla when she saw him heading out of the studio but he didn’t answer and was gone just a few seconds later.

“You sure you don’t want to take your furniture with you?” asked raising her brows. shook her head. “No... it’s fine. I’m going to get new stuff over there. It’s cheaper than shipping it to Los Angeles.”
“Can I have this lamp then?” asked already grabbing it.
?!” snapped .
“What? She said she doesn’t want to keep it” stated putting the lamp back onto the little table. shook her head and handed it back to . “Take it. I want you to have it. In fact if there’s something you need you can take it-“
thought for a moment and then headed towards the kitchen “If this is the case then I’d love to your toaster.”
chuckled and continued to pack her clothes into the boxes.
“It’s going to be strange not having you around” said wrapping some cups into some newspaper pages.
“Girls, remember the time before we went to Norway? I mean, I have barely seen you then-“
“Yeah, but that’s like ages ago-“ interrupted raising her brows.
“Not even two years” corrected her and smiled at her.
“Can I ask you something?” suddenly said stopping to wrap up the cups.
raised her brows but nodded. “If asked you to stay, would you?”
Taking a deep breath first had to think about ’s words. “Honestly, I don’t know.”
looked at wearily. “You’ll miss him, won’t you?”
slowly nodded her head. “More than anything else-“
“Think about it” started , “if the two of you never had broken up, you still might be together. I hate Leni!”
grinned wearily, “that was the way it was supposed to be.”
“You really think so?”asked getting up from the couch. “I think it was all just a little scheme. I believe that destiny wants the two of you together but there’s always one person whose scheme is messing everything up.”
“You think Haley’s a scheme?” giggled . “I find her very nice, to be honest.”
“Yes, me too” agreed not wanting to make Haley bad. She was indeed a good girl.
shrugged her shoulders and helped putting her shoes in a box. They continued to pack in silence until everyone startled when there were loud knocks on the door. “I go” said while getting up from the couch. She flung the door open and saw standing in front of her breathing heavily. He raised his brows not expecting to see in front of him.
... where is she?”
felt uncomfortable when she heard his voice. She made her way over to the door still holding her pullover in her hands. “I’m here... what’s wrong?”
“Can I talk to you?” he asked and sensed that he was angry.
“Sure” she answered and allowed him to enter but didn’t move. “In private” he added.
turned around and looked at the girls. “How about you go and fetch some coffee. It’s my treat.”
looked at and . They nodded and took their coats.
handed twenty pounds and closed the door behind the three girls. stood already in the middle of the messy living room.
“What’s biting you?” exhaled heavily looking into ’s puzzled eyes. “Rick’s coming with you?”
broke the eye contact immediately and looked to her right avoiding his gaze. “How do you know?”
“Pricilla told us. So it’s true” he claimed.
looked into his eyes and nodded. “Yeah, he’s coming with me-“
“What why? He’s coming with me because he is my boyfriend and because he wants to come with me.”
“A few days ago we slept together and now you’re going back as if nothing has ever happened-“
“Exactly just like you do!” she yelled and her eyes pierced right into his.
“It’s something different. Haley’s pregnant. If she wasn’t I would want to be with you-“
“Yeah, but she is! You’re going to be her child’s father. You’re allowed to have someone around you who loves you but I don’t? Don’t I have the right to be with someone who cares for me?”
“Do you care for him?” he asked forcefully.
“Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be with him!”
“You don’t because then you wouldn’t have slept with me-“
looked at him in disbelief. “So you’re saying it’s my fault that we slept together?”
inhaled sensing that he had said something wrong.
“No... of course not-“
“It’s okay when you cheat on your girlfriend and go back to her but it’s not fair when I do the same?”
shook his head. “No... it’s not. Because you have a choice.”
“What choice do I have, ?” she yelled angrily. “Either I leave him and stay alone or I take him with me and have some company-“
“Company? You see... you call him company!”
“Leave! Now!” she said pointing towards the door.
“I won’t leave” he said calmly.
“Then what do you expect me to do?”
“Break up with him!” he said out loud before he could realise what his mouth was doing. He regretted it the moment he looked into ’s broken eyes. Tears were already on the verge of rolling down her cheeks.
“Go! Because I know where this is heading to and I don’t want to go back to where we were in Norway.”
, leave” she said determined and pointed towards the door.
“You are breaking my heart” he whispered causing to look at him. He was standing in front of her looking desperately into her eyes.
felt a sharp pain in her heart and suddenly she was angry.
“I’m breaking your heart?” she yelled. “You’re breaking mine” she yelled even louder. She went over to a drawer and opened it. “Here” she said pulling out a bunch of photos.
“I kept them till today because I’ve always thought we might find back together sooner or later” she then tossed them towards him causing them to shatter all over the floor. She reached inside the drawer and pulled out a little jewellery box. “I kept your damn ring” she said throwing it towards . rushed over to the wall where there were still pictures of her and in frames. “This is all fake” she said and slid her hand harshly over the wall causing the pictures to fall on the floor. “I gave you my heart when I was sixteen, . You wanted it and I gave it to you-“ she said and then she moved to the window ripping down the curtains. “I’ve bought these curtains because I knew you would like them” she moved over to the wall where the tv was. “You see this shelf” it was positioned right next to the tv, filled with all sorts of dvds and cds. “I’ve bought this shelf because I knew you wanted to take your cd collection with you when you move out of your parents house... I’ve done everything for you, !” she was now crying hysterically.
“I’ve done everything. I left because I rented this flat for you and me and when you decided to leave me I was left alone with this” she flung her arms around the living room. “I was alone in London living a lonely life, away from family and friends. And all this because I’ve hoped deep within my heart that someday maybe we will come back together. And now you’ve got Haley pregnant and all my hope’s gone. My heart’s breaking... not yours!”
Anger was now clearly visible in her face. She was breathing in and out heavily. “Get out of here” she yelled.
” he started desperately.
“It hurts too much” she cried and sank down onto the floor. “Just leave me alone...”
rushed over to her and knelt down next to her wrapping his arms around her but she backed away. “I’m serious... go” she said looking into his eyes.
“I can take this no more-“
looked at her red face and her bloodshot eyes and got back up.
“So is this goodbye?” he said in a low voice.
nodded and looked at the ground. Without another word turned around and left the flat.

“You think he’s already gone?” asked when she followed and upstairs to ’s flat.
“It’s been three hours. And the guys got rehearsal so they sure would have called him to come back.” “Hmm” said licking her ice. “It’s just... I don’t want to walk into anything, if you know what I mean” she said causing to turn around and look at her.
“You are so lucky you’re pretty” she said and waited in front of the door. knocked once and waited. “I’m going to miss walking up here” she said looking at the others.
“Yeah, we’re never going to knock on that piece of wood anymore” added contracting her brows.
“Or walk that floor” continued .
“Or look out that window” said nodding towards the door at the other end of the corridor.
“Have you ever looked out of it?” asked raising her brows.
“No, actually not” stated tilting her head. “Hmm-“ They turned around towards the door again. It was still closed. knocked again. “What takes her so long?” she asked impatiently.
“Oh, I know” whispered before getting a puzzled glance from . She avoided it and looked at the floor. “Girls, look there” she said and pointed towards the doormat. “It’s a key-“
bended down and grabbed it before unlocking the door.
She pushed it open and they entered it without hesitation.
?” called putting off her coat but no one answered.
“Look, there’s a note” said and headed towards it already. Once she held it in her hands she started to read out the words, that were hastily scribbled on it:
I need to get away from here. I’m sorry I couldn’t stay to say goodbye. I’ll call you when I land in Los Angeles. Please, don’t be mad. My worlds a mess right now and I don’t you to hold my leaving against me. I’m sorry...

The girls looked at one another and it passed some time until someone spoke. The words still filled the room like a noxious smell. “She’s gone?” asked in disbelief.
“Just like that” added shocked.
took hold of the note and put it into her pocket. “Okay, listen to me” she said trying to get rid of the numb feeling in her heart. “, I need you to cancel the farewell party” nodded and already took out her mobile. “, you and I are going to finish packing and then we send her stuff to Los Angeles. I will take the keys and take it to the landlord on Saturday, then-“
nodded and made her way to the box of clothes. v looked at her friends and then at the pocket where the note was in. Although it was hard she knew that needed her right now more than anything else in the world.


Chapter 18

Today on Jonathan Ross, Philips, new star of itv2’s Life 101 -
squeaked and jumped onto the couch when the promo got shown on TV. “” she yelled, “it starts any minute” she laughed and put the bowl of popcorn onto her lap. slurped into the living room dropping down next to .
“Why are you so nervous about it?” he asked rubbing his tired eyes.
“Because I haven’t seen in over six months and I really want to see what she looks like now-“
rolled his eyes and took some popcorn out of the bowl. “Oh my Gosh, this is so exciting” giggled . “She looks so American.”
“How can you look American? To me she looks so human” stated raising his brows.
“Could you please try to enjoy it?”
“No, I’m still mad at her.”
looked at him. “When will you drop it?”
“I will drop it when I think it’s time to drop it.”
“It’s been six months, mister” chanted .
“Six months in which she didn’t bother to talk to me-“
rolled her eyes and paid her attention back to the screen. She startled when the door suddenly got opened and and Haley and suddenly entered the room. “What are you doing?” asked dropping down on the couch next to .
and Haley sat down on the lazy chair looking at the screen. “We’re watching Jonathan Ross.”
turned to .
“Who’s on it?”
’s on it” he said casually.
smiled and looked around catching ’s glance. His eyes were in shock. She knew that he hasn’t talked to her since the day had left so abruptly.
Till today she didn’t know why but she knew that must have been the reason.
“There she is” they heard saying and everyone turned their head towards the screen. There she was. She had long wavy hair. She wore black blouse with skin tight washed out blue jeans and to top it off she wore black high heels. There was a close up of her face causing to gasp in shock.
“A fringe?”
“Looks hot” commented taking a hand full of popcorn.
They watched sitting down on the couch and paying attention to Jonathan. She smiled and realized that her teeth looked even whiter than she remembered.
“How lovely to have you here” said Jonathan while sitting down on his chair.
“Thank you for having me” she smiled back.
“Your show ‘Life 101’ premiered last month here in the UK but it airs in the US for some time now, doesn’t it?”
nodded while crossing her legs. “Yes it does. It airs in the states for three months now and we’re halfway through the first season there.”
“And it is basically about life, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is. It’s generally about the up and downs in life but still mixed with a lot of comedy. It kind of has a ‘Friends’-touch, you know.”
“And if you have to point out your up and downs in life what would they be?”
started to giggle. “I think, everything in life has its up and down, you know. Everything has a positive and a negative side-“
“That does not answer my question” interrupted Jonathan smiling at her.
“Oh, mister, you know something but you don’t want to ask directly-“
“It’s the skill of interviewing-“
“Is it still a skill when I figure it out?” she asked raising her brows while grinning at him widely.
“Just answer the bloody question” he laughed and the audience started to clap.
“Of course, I mean, moving away from home was pretty tough so that’s gotta be the down. The up came with the show-“
“And your boyfriend” he said grinning cheekly.
“There it is” moaned pretending to be annoyed.
“Because Dean Springer who plays Noah in the show is your boyfriend, right?”
blushed and shrugged her shoulders. “Don’t know.”
“Was it love at first sight?” asked Jonathan still not keeping the cheeky grin off his face.
“Well, if you must know. Six months ago I moved to Los Angeles with my then-boyfriend but things kind of changed between us and so we separated in friendly manners. When we broke up I didn’t plan on having a boyfriend soon, because let’s be honest who wants to head from one relationship to another.”
“Yeah, it’s stupid-“
“Yeah, don’t do this, kids” said shaking her head causing everyone to laugh.
“Did you just tell children to not get into relationships?”
“No, I told them to enjoy being single a while. I mean let’s face it. You’re free and able to do whatever you want. You don’t break someone else’s heart by being single-“
“But you’re not... you’re with Dean.”
“I am not” she stated grinning. “It’s a rumour and it’s not true. People have seen us out a few times and that’s when speculation started-“
“So you’re single?”
“Single and ready to mingle.” The audience laughed again while Jonathan joked about and one of his background singers kicking it off together after the show.
“So how did you get the part?”
“Funny story actually-“ And then rambled on about how she was in Disney World, begging for an audition and finally getting the part. on the other hand didn’t followed the conversation anymore.
“You don’t break someone else’s heart by being single” her words kept echoing in his mind. She was wrong. She was breaking his heart still... after six months he still wasn’t able to let it drop. Looking at Haley his glance wandered to her tummy. It was clearly visible now that she was pregnant. It was the seventh month and Haley started to get a bit hyper about everything. And though he felt like betraying Haley he couldn’t get rid of the feeling that something about this family-thing was wrong. And he knew exactly what it was – was not the mother.

Walking down the corridor backstage was talking to Helen, her manager. “You’re staying at the Royal Garden Hotel. You need to get up tomorrow at 04:30 because you’ll be on Daybreak at 07:30.”
“Seven thirty?” repeated , “now that’s what I call a ‘day break’...”
“Afterwards you’ll be on Loose Women and then we’re heading to the-“
?” Helen got interrupted by a member of the crew just before they reached the door to ’s dressing room. She immediately turned her attention to the guy.
“Yep?” she said raising her brows.
“There’s someone who wanted to see you” he said. “I’ve allowed him to enter, if you don’t mind-“
“Are you totally crazy?” snapped Helen. “How could you just invite someone into her dressing room-“
rolled her eyes and entered the room while Helen kept rumbling on about how naive and incapable this man was about his job. Closing the door behind her she turned around and for a second she thought her eyes might pop out of their holes.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“It’s been six months, ” he smiled and soon found himself in a firm hug. “Easy, Con” he chuckled.
“You look so different” she smiled.
“You’re the one with a fringe now” he laughed.
“Yeah... I tried something new” she smiled and led him to the couch. “It’s so great to see you, ” she beamed.
“So how’s life in the states?”
“Life’s going pretty good, actually. The show’s successful and I receive more requests for roles than I used to-“
“And what about Rick?” he asked directly causing to look away. She scratched her neck and got up from the couch. “Look, those are from the states” she said and picked up a box of pop tarts.
“What are those?” he asked getting up as well.
“Poptarts frosted s’mores” she smiled gleeful and handed him one. “Try it... it’s delicious. You get really sick though when you eat too many-“
chuckled and took a bite. “Wow, good.”
“I know” she beamed and took too a bite.
“Back to the question you didn’t answer yet, though” he said raising his brows.
“Root beer?” she asked bending down to get a can but stopped her in mid-action. “For real, . What happened?”
looked into his eyes and shook her head. “I broke up with him-“
“How come?”
“He was there for me, . He was... he was perfect. I loved him for being there for me. He helped me with my scripts and with my acting. He criticised me when I felt like I could improve things and I was really thankful for that but-“
“He was not ” she whispered. “It didn’t matter how much I wanted to love him for being who he was. I just couldn’t... and eventually I told him that I could no longer be with him.”
“How did he take it?”
“He took it like a man. Every girl should have been happy to be with him... he said that if that was what I felt than it was no point in continuing with this so-called relationship.”
“Why, ? Why do you still think that you and -“
“I’m not thinking that and I would ever come back together. But you have no idea how hard it is to forget your first true love-“
“Haley’s having the baby in a couple of months... his baby.”
“Don’t you think I know it? Don’t you think that this thought occurs to me every time I wake up or go to bed? I know that it’s over... that’s why I’m staying away. That’s why I’m not coming back to London. That’s why I’m no longer in touch with you, , and above all with .”
“What does that mean you’re not coming back to London?”
“The production company just signed the cast for another three seasons-“
“Three seasons-“
“Three more years... I’m not coming back-“
“I’ve got another two productions coming up-“
“You’re not coming back” he repeated absent-mindedly.
“You’re not going to visit his child?”
“It’s better if I’m not” she said firmly.
“Do you want to know what sex the baby has?” he asked.
looked at him. “No... I’d rather not like to know anything about this child. At least for now... I’m not ready-“
“I bet would like you to know about it-“
“Yeah, but I stopped caring about what wants some time ago. I need to start thinking about myself and I can’t let ’s life rule over mine-“
?” The door got pushed open and Helen’s head appeared. “The car’s here. We need to go-“
nodded and grabbed her purse and coat. She looked at . “You can take the sweets” she smiled. “It was nice to see you again, .”
nodded bitterly and hugged her. “I’ll send your love to the others if you like to.”
“No” she said and shook her head. “Clear break... the less they hear of me the less time it will take them to forget me.”
“We won’t forget you” he said.
“I will try my best” she said and with a last half-hearted smile flashed into ’s direction she left the dressing room.


Chapter 19

“Here you go” smiled Helen passing a glass of orange juice. “Thank you” she smiled and took a sip.
“Can I get you anything else, ma’am?” asked the waitress Helen who dismissed her with a wave of her hand.
“So what did that Westlife kid want from you?”
?” asked raising her brows causing Helen to nod.
“We just chatted a bit” she said casually putting down the glass.
“You just chatted... is there something between the two of you?”
“God, no... and I... no! He’s got a girlfriend-“
“Then what did he want?”
“Helen” said looking straight into her eyes. “None of your business.”
“I’m just thinking commercially” she said with a grin.
“My private life is not to be thought of commercially” stated and her face turned serious.
“It was just-“
“Stop it, Helen. The last time you were just thinking commercially resulted in a break-up...”
“Rick wasn’t good enough anyway” she said.
“He was good” said and took a bite of her bagel.
“Then you wouldn’t have broken up with him, darling” she said raising her brows. She got up from the table and went to the counter.
grabbed her purse and got up. “Where the hell are you going?”
“I need to get away” she said and reached for the door.
“We’re not in Los Angeles. You’ll get lost” snapped Helen causing to turn around abruptly.
“London’s my home. I’ve lived here for more than five years... I can’t get lost!”

Standing in front of the grey house she looked up to the third story. There was no light in the window and it seemed strangely dark. knew that she was imagining things but behind this window lay her past. The sun was beginning to set and it started to get cold. It was mid November and felt suddenly surprisingly lonely when she thought about Christmas. She remembered how she used to decorate her window with lights and how every year she struggled to carry a Christmas tree upstairs.
“Ms. Philips?” she heard someone saying. She turned to her left where an older man walked up to her.
“Mr. Sanchez” she smiled realizing it was her former neighbour, “nice to see you again.”
“Did you find your way back home?” he chuckled.
“Not yet” she smiled and walked up to him. “So how’s your new neighbour?”
Mr. Sanchez shrugged his shoulders. “Haven’t seen him yet.”
“What do you mean?” she asked surprised.
“We know that someone has actually bought the flat but he has never been here. Mrs. Figgins claims he only comes during the night” he said and winked at her.
“Well, Mrs. Figgins should rather sleep than spending her nights and days behind the window pane” she said out loud and looked up to a first story window. The window got opened and an old woman put her head out. “My sleeping problem hasn’t gone any better” she complained and started jabbering about her sleepless nights and her bad stomach. Half an hour later found herself still in front of Mrs. Figgins window listening to her stories.
“Mrs. Figgins” she started uncomfortably. “I’m afraid I have to head off” she smiled. “Oh dear” she said and smiled at . “No problem. It was nice to see you again. Don’t be a stranger, Ms. Philips.”
“I won’t” she smiled and turned around to cross the street before she stopped dead track and faced Mrs. Figgins again.
“Mrs. Figgins?” she asked and looked at her. “Do you know who’s living in my old flat?”
She saw the old lady raising her brows. “Sorry, dear. I’ve never seen him properly. He’s very rarely here. There’s not even a name sign on his bell” she said and nodded towards the door.
contracted her eyes. “Alright” she said. “Thank you anyway.”
Those were her last words. She crossed the street and passed a newspaper kiosk.
” smiled the guy behind the counter. “Back in old London?”
“For a while” she smiled and reached for the Cosmopolitan.
“And probably too busy to go on a date with me, aren’t yeh?” he smiled causing to grin cheekily back. “Always was and always will, Jermaine.”
“Thought so” he said and reached out his hand to take the money she was handing him. But then her eyes caught a magazine and she stopped in her actions. Pulling her hand back she reached for a copy and looked at it. “Since when do you sell Irish tabloids?” she asked flicking through the Irish Sun.
“Oh, it’s not for sell” he said reaching for it.
“Why not?”
“I order it for a customer and he pays double price.”
“For a tabloid?”
“He wants to read this paper so I get him this paper” stated Jermaine.
“Well, he must be a freak, that’s for sure” she mumbled rolling her eyes.
“You know him” he said raising his brows.
“I do?”
“That from Westlife-“
Her heart missed a beat and started to ache badly by the sound of his name. She inhaled deeply and looked at Jermaine.
“Really?” she asked in a nervous giggle. “Yeah, he seems to live here somewhere” stated Jermaine and put the newspaper on a box behind him.
“Here?” she asked.
“Yeah, I think it must be around the corner” and he pointed towards the direction just came from. She swallowed and nodded. “Funny” she forced to say and smiled. “I need to go” she said and put a five pound bill on the counter. “Keep the change” she said and hurried away.

“You should really come off the table” laughed when he saw dancing on top of it. It was two o’clock at night and the party was just starting. rolled his eyes when he saw spanking ’s butt out of fun. Being the only one sober because he was in driving duty made him feel responsible for the others.
get down there” he said but couldn’t suppress a chuckle.
“You should have one of those” said holding up his sixth glass of Tequila Sunrise.
“Tempting” said glancing at it, “but I can’t.”
“Yeah you can” laughed . “We’re just going to call a taxi.”
looked at him. For some reason he felt like getting drunk tonight but could he really do it?
“Look, ” smiled putting an arm around his shoulder. He was very close to his face and smelled the alcohol. “Soon you’re going to be a father. No more late nights out with your best buddies then. This may be your last chance to paint the town red!”
Thinking about what had just told him, realized that he was right. It may be his last chance.
The new album was soon going to be released and that would mean a lot of work for them and barely time to party. Haley was now almost seven months pregnant which meant that his single life was nearly over... forever! He looked into ’s eyes and before he knew it he was already snatching the glass out of his hand.
Now or never again! He told himself and led the glass towards his mouth.
got herself lost,” stopped before the liquid could touch his lips. He raised his brows and looked at who looked at his mobile.
“What did you say?” he asked lowering the glass.
“Apparently, ’s got herself lost. She’s somewhere in... Bristol?!” he reads out loud in disbelief.
“What?!” repeated in the exact same tone.
“She’s in Bristol” he confirms handing him his mobile. read the message...

OMG, . So sorry to bother you but I got lost! I’m in Bristol – I know wtf?! – the next train leaves tomorrow at six. I’m cold... don’t you owe me or something?
Can you pick me up?? Bristol is soo spooky! And there’s an old woman spying me... HELP!

looks at the phone then back at . “You’re in touch with her?”
Swallowing guiltily he nodded. “Yeah, from time to time-“
He shook his head and looked at him. “And you didn’t tell me-“ And with those words he left the guys behind.


Chapter 20

looked at her watch. She can’t believe she can’t believe she was already waiting for three hours. It was three am in the morning and she had told exactly where she was. It couldn’t take him that long to drive to Bristol. Two hours at a max but three? She tossed a little stone onto the street. She was now sitting on the pavement looking at her black all stars shoes which for some reason reminded her of the first time she went on a date with Rick. It was the premiere and he had asked her if they were inappropriate. A smile lightens up her face for a split of a second before she remembered their break-up...

“Rick” she yelled after him when she saw him moving towards the bedroom.
“Rick, listen I’m sorry.”
“You slept with him” he stated. “I told you all you had to do it tell me when you still had feelings for him. But doing this behind my back-“
“It was a mistake... we didn’t plan-“ she looked into his eyes when she caught up with him and made her look at her. Her tears were now rolling down her cheeks. She could see in his eyes how much pain she had caused him.
“I’m so so sorry” she said looking up at him.
“You love him,” he said and paused before he added a quiet, “don’t you?”
There was nothing left to do for but to nod in confirmation. Rick looked down at her and without another word he turned around and pulled his suitcase out of the closet.
“I wish I would love you” she said quietly and leaned against a drawer causing Rick to face her.
“Are you kidding me, ? How could you say that?” he snapped.
“I’m saying it because it’s true” she cried. “With all my heart I wish it was you who I love and not him.”
Rick shook his head in disbelief. “You know, you should stop playing the victim.”
Those words felt like a knife in ’s heart. She looked at him through bloodshot eyes.
“I’m the one who was betrayed. I would have done everything for you. God, I came to Los Angeles with you and you’re telling me you wished you’d love me. ’s with Haley and she’s pregnant. Get on with life!”
looked at him hearing his last words echoing in her head. Get on with life! Get on with life! Get on with life!
Rick shook his head. Touching his forehead he looked at the ground. “I pick up my stuff tomorrow”
he said and paced already out the room. didn’t move and even when she heard the front door snap shut, she didn’t move.

* * *

It still felt like yesterday when the two broke up. could still see the pain in his eyes when she closed her own. The reason she told him was because Helen wanted and Rick to become the next Hollywood dream couple. With Helen’s help he got a recurring role in Life 101 as a bartender. Then she had arranged several photo shoots for magazines where the two of them should talk about their happy relationship. This was the point where felt like she couldn’t hide the truth – the affair with – any longer.

She heard the door being opened and looked up from the couch. She had spent all night sitting there biting her nails. She saw his messy light hair first. She got up immediately when he closed the door behind him. He was looking at the floor.
“Hey” she said unsure whether she should say something or not.
“Hey” he said back looking up at her. “I still got the keys-“
“I know” she whispered and felt how hot tears were staring to build up again. But no... she was not going to cry.
“I’ve packed your suitcase” she said after she cleared her throat. “I thought you wanted to get out of here as fast as possible.”
She nodded and felt the awkward atmosphere. It wasn’t really cool but the intimacy has gone as well. “Okay” she said and cleared her throat again. “If you want me to leave so you can go through the flat gathering some of your stuff than that’s fine. I understand that you must hate me-“
“I don’t hate you” he said truthfully looking hurt. “I’m disappointed in you.”
Again those words made her shiver. She never thought she had disappointed someone before... and this feeling was almost unbearable.
“I just don’t look at you the same way I did. I wish I could... you were always cool , you know.”
“I wasn’t cool” she said in a whisper.
“You were” he confirmed and a little smile appeared on his face. “’s lucky.”
“Yeah, he is... with Haley” she said determined. “You were right, Rick. I no longer want to play the victim. I need to get on with my life. My life’s here now... in Los Angeles. Without ...”
“That’s great to hear” he said honestly. “Listen, maybe we can hang out again sometime... not tomorrow, or next week or the next month but in the future... when I’ve overcome the urge to cry like a little school girl when I see you.” He smiles and winks but then he turns serious again. “I wouldn’t want to lose a friend-“
Although swore to herself she wasn’t going to cry, she couldn’t help it but sob. “That’d be great.” She stood in the middle of the living room trying to dry her tears with her sleeve and before she knew it Rick was embracing her. “It’ll all be fine.”

* * *

Fair enough after that day they weren’t in touch with each other for over a month. Even at work they kept their distance until they had one major scene to film. This scene was the moment where their friendship could start... they have stayed in touch since then. And counts Rick to her closest friends in the states... even her best friend... and she was also very happy for him when he told her about his new girlfriend. A girl called Amanda who he met at an ice-cream parlour.
snapped out of her day – rather night – dreaming when a black BMW stopped in front of her. The door of the driver’s side got opened.
“It took you ages, !” she giggled happy he came to pick her up but the smile froze on her face when she saw getting out of the car.
“What the hell?!” she whispered to herself. “You?”
looked at her and raised his brows. “How could you possibly have ended up in Bristol? It’s a two hours drive-“
“Mind you, three hours when you take the train” she smiled ignoring the pain in her heart. She was not going to let him know what he was doing to her.
looked at her in disbelief. “What happened?”
“What does it bother you?” she asked raising her brows.
” he said firmly and knew that he was angry. “It’s fucking 3 o’clock at night. You are here all on your own. You don’t know the city and God only know what could have happened to you.”
“Nothing happened to me. I chilled out on the pavement.”
“What about the old woman?”
waved her hand. “Oh, she was just admiring my bolero.”
“Apropos bolero... we have mid-October and you’re only walking around in a bolero. Are you out of your mind-“
“I forgot my jacket in the train” she snapped. She really did forget it there... she was so lost in thoughts about buying her flat that she didn’t know where she was going, what she was doing or what she was leaving behind.
started to laugh crazily to himself. “She forgot it in the-” He shook his head, “get into the car.”
looked at him amused and shook her head. “No!”
His eyes widened when she said the word. “What?”
“You heard me... I said no!”
, I came here to pick you up.”
“I didn’t ask you to pick me up. I’m waiting for .”
“Well, I got news for you. won’t come-“
“Then I’m waiting for the next train.”
Right now, wild horses couldn’t drag her into the car. “You must be kidding me?!” he said and she knew that he was getting more annoyed with each second that passed.
put a finger on her chin and started to stroke it.
Looking into the sky she said “Hmm... let me think about it... no, no... I’m not kidding” she said and smiled at him. shut the door of the car and walked over to her.
“What is your problem?” he snapped.
“Why started. “Why are you so angry?”
He started to scratch his head. knew that it was a way to calm himself down. “Tell me, why you don’t want to get into the car.”
smiled up at him and clapped her hands. “The pavement’s so cosy.”
“Damn it, !” he yelled and looked at her. This outburst made actually startled. She wouldn’t have expected this reaction. “What’s it with you?” he snapped.
“What’s it with you ?!” she asked in return and got up from the pavement she had sat on for three hours.
“Why did you buy my flat?” she asked flat out. looked taken aback.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I was at my old place. They told me you’re living in it now.” Okay, this wasn’t quite the truth. After all she was only guessing that he was living there but this way she could find out the truth. “How do you explain that?”
He looked her deep in the eyes before his glance wandered sideways. “This place apparently means a lot to you. It was our flat, right?“
couldn’t believe her ears. “Our flat?” she repeated in disbelief. “It was never our flat! It was my flat! Mine! And now it’s yours but it was never ours!!” was about to explode. How dare he calling the flat theirs?
” he tried to calm her down.
“I can’t believe you just said that! You know... these things. That’s why I don’t want to get into a car with you. It just always ends up in a total disaster!”
“So you’d rather stay here all by yourself in the middle of the night?”
“My bolero is keeping me company, thank you!”
“I can’t believe how stubborn you are. So I’ve bought this flat... so what? You can have it back-“
“I don’t need it!”
“Not now but later when you come back-“
“I’m not coming back!” she exhales furiously. “Don’t you get it? I left because I wanted to escape from you. Now that I’m gone and I’ve started a new life I can’t go back to where I was.”
looked at her puzzled. “You’re not coming back?” “No!” she said immediately and she felt so sure about it. She was not going to play the victim. Not anymore- “There is no future for me here.”
“You’re giving us up then” he said. shook her head.
“It’s about time one of us does it. If Haley hadn’t been pregnant then I would have wanted to be with you but... it’s over! I’ve moved on... you should too. Sell the flat! Start living the life you should live now!”
“You haven’t moved on” he stated looking at her. “Otherwise my presence wouldn’t bother you so much.”
“Your presence will always bother me” she said. “But I’m not willing to let it ruin my life.”


Chapter 21

, I can’t believe you didn’t call me back” snapped Helen the next morning at breakfast. “We were all worried sick.” rolled her eyes.
“I ran over my minutes” she lied. Truth was, she didn’t want to admit she got herself lost. And she knew that no one would really miss her. She could bet that Helen only realized that was missing this morning when she was supposed to be leaving for ITV’s ‘Daybreak’. It was nine o’clock in the morning when arrived back in the hotel. She told she wasn’t going to drive back with him and so he had left her alone. Little did she know, that he had parked the car around the corner and went back to have an eye on her from a safe distance.
“Where have you been?” she snapped.
“Bristol” she mumbled back.
“What on earth were you doing there?” turned around and faced her.
“What did I tell you about my private life? You don’t need to know everything, Helen.” And with that she rolled her eyes and slammed the door shut in front of her.
She had missed ‘Daybreak’ which meant she was in trouble but Helen had just told her that they had explained that she was ‘unable’ to come. Now their meeting has been postponed to tomorrow morning. Right now, couldn’t care less. She was still angry at for buying her flat and even more because he dared to call it their flat. Once she sat down onto the couch in her room the door got burst open and Helen entered.
“You’ve got an hour to freshen up. We need to be in the studios for Loose Women in one and a half hour.”
“Right” confirmed rubbing her forehead which caused Helen to look at her worriedly.
“What is it, ? Now you start scaring me.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t make it this morning” she said truthfully. “Were they mad?”
“They weren’t pleased... but we could postpone it luckily. Why are you so disturbed since we’re here?”
“It’s just... London played a big part in my life, you know. Being back here is like... everything that I have experienced is so close and real all of the sudden.”
Helen sat down onto the table in front of her. “I know you had your problems before you came to LA and believe me I don’t want you to suffer but... it’s only two more days to go. Then we’re back and you can leave London behind again.” looked at Helen and nodded. This was one of the moments when realized why Helen was her manager. It didn’t matter how much she could annoy her from time to time, she still protected her in the best way she could.
“Come on” said Helen and patted her knee. “Go and take a shower, I’ll get you something to eat.”
had seen getting into the train and drove right afterwards to Haley. Yesterday evening she took the train to go and meet her parents. She usually did it every second week. He drove up the lane and stood in front of the house. He had to calm down first... his heart was still longing for . It hadn’t stopped longing for her although he hadn’t seen her for six months. He breathed out heavily and told himself to grab a hold of himself. He opened the door and walked over to the house. It was nine o’clock already. He hadn’t driven to Haley’s house at once. It would have been six o’clock and everyone would have been still asleep. He rang the bell and waited... it’s over! I’ve moved on... you should too. Her words still kept running through his mind. They were echoing inside his ears not willing to leave him alone. So she had moved on... had she?
!” Haley’s voice startled him. He turned around to look at her hoping her smile would make some of the thoughts go away but all he saw was a surprised yet somehow shocked expression.
“What are you doing here?” she asked. shook his head.
“Nice to see you too” he smiled and leaned in to steal a kiss. She brushed her lips over his and pulled back again.
“No, seriously what are you doing here?” looked at her puzzled.
“I thought I’d drop by. Why are you so surprised?” he asked looking at her suspiciously when she pulled the door closer to her body.
“I just didn’t expect you” she said. “You should have called.”
“What are you hiding?” he asked.
“What?” asked Haley and sensed that she was giggling nervously. “I’m not hiding anything. How about we grab some breakfast?”
“I’d rather take a little nap first” he stated.
“Haley, I’ve been awake the whole night. I can’t possibly drive back to London right now.”
“But my parents” she started, “I’m not sure they’d like to see you sleeping here-“Now was certainly confused and suspicious because of her behaviour.
“I’ve got you pregnant already... what could possibly happen?”
“I just-“
“What’s the matter-“
“Can I come in?”
pushed at the door. “Let me in.”
” she said and tried to prevent him from entering. “You don’t want to see this-“
And just when he entered the kitchen he froze. His heart sank and a cold rush went over his body. The room was spinning and he had the urgent feeling to throw up. Haley stopped beside him and breathed heavily.
“Shut up!” he hissed not looking away from the person in front of him.
“Hey ” the person smiled causing to clinch his jaw. “How are things?”
“What are you doing here?”
” Haley started again.
“Wow, you sound angry” he heard the person saying.
“What are you doing here, Leni?” he asked again.
“Thought I’d drop by to talk to my friend Haley” she smiled.
“Friend?” he repeated and looked at Haley who couldn’t help but to look at the floor. “Why?” he asked Leni. “Why would you want to talk to her? And how come you know her?”
“Haley, would you like to tell him or should I?” she smiled but Haley didn’t answer.
I really overestimated you” she said. “I thought you’d never fall for her.”
looked at the direction Leni was pointing and saw Haley still in the same position. “Have you ever thought about why you’ve met her? How fast everything was going with the two of you?”
didn’t respond but kept looking at her. “I told Haley to walk into that bar and talk to you. I knew that you’ve been there and I told her what you like. I told her you like it when girls order beer instead of martinis. I told her you like it when she jokes about each and everything. I told her what ’s like and made a copy! Once you were with her everything was just a matter of time. She moving in with you-“
“Leni” suddenly said Haley pleadingly.
“She getting pregnant” Leni stressed looking at with a smile.
All life vanished from ’s face when she said those words. He looked immediately at Haley who closed her eyes in shame. “Haley?” he asked but she didn’t look up, she didn’t respond.
“Haley?” he repeated helplessly. “Is it true?”
“Things have changed” she suddenly said looking into his eyes. It was like a knife cut his heart open. It was like his worst nightmare came true. Taking a few steps away from her he watched her speaking.
“I needed money” she said, “I’ve met Leni in some random pub and she offered me a job. I thought it was not bad... she could pay you back for what you’ve done to her and I would get some money and attention. I didn’t know that it was going to get that far but then I was caught in the act and I could stop it... but I like you, . I like you a lot... I love-”
“Don’t you dare saying it!” he hissed. looked at her in disbelief. Not wanting to believe his ears he started to shake his head. “Tell me you’re lying!”
“I’m not” she said knowing it was over.
“How could you do this to me?” he asked quietly.
“How could you’ve done this to her?” she asked in return.
now looked at Leni. “What did you tell her?” he asked.
“The truth, ” she said. “How you were engaged to me and how you cheated on me with !”
let out a sharp laugh. “You’re a sick person, Leni!”
“Yes, I might be. But I’ve got my pay-back... I’m happy” she smiled and winked at him. It took all the strength he had in his bones not to yell at her.
“So all this” he said now looking at Haley again. “It’s a lie... it’s some evil plan” he shook his head and added to himself. “I can’t believe this is happening.”
” Haley started again and she walked over to him. Putting her arms around him she tried to hold on to him tightly. “I’m sorry... so sorry!”
But he stood firmly in her arms. Looking ahead he didn’t respond at once. His whole life was turned upside-down. He took hold of her shoulders and pushed her slowly away from his body. Holding her one arm length away he looked closely into her red eyes. “The baby... is it mine?” he asked and when she closed her eyes he knew what was about to happen. She slowly shook her head and a flood of tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Don’t ever talk to me again... ever!” And those were the last words he said to her. He lost hold of her and walked past her not turning around again. His heart crumbled... he may not have loved Haley with all his heart but he surely has loved this kid. He thought it was his flesh and his blood... knowing that this was not the case hurt him unbelievably.


Chapter 22

Three months later

, are you coming?”
ran down the stairs and jumped the last two steps just to land in front of Rick. She smiled up at him. “I’m unbelievably talented, aren’t I? I did this jump without hurting myself.”
Rick rolled his eyes opening the door. “It would be great if you could also walk straight through a door without bumping against the frame every time” he teased. put her hands on her hips gasping dramatically for air. “Oh. My. God! This doesn’t happen that often!”
“Oh, you’re right... just every day about ten times!” he winked and paced out onto the sun lightened porch when tried to hit him on his arm. “Yeah, you better run, Mister.”
Rick laughed and waited for her to get outside. “Where are you going?” he asked when he saw her walking towards the kitchen from outside. “Just grabbing something to eat and drink.”
“We’re going to be late-“
“I’m going to starve!” “!” he called but she didn’t hear him. He shook his head and turned around when he heard a car stopping in front of the house. The both of them had moved from the apartment into a house so they could have more privacy. With the show running so good in the states, people started to find out where they were living and moving away from Burbank felt like a right thing to do. Though the drive to the set took now longer...
He watched the black Ford Focus come to a halt. Contracting his eyes he noticed a male sitting behind the wheel. The driver’s door opened and the guy stepped out. Rick let out a sharp laugh when he recognised him. The driver turned around and walked up the little path towards the door. He stopped moving when he saw someone standing on the porch.
“What are you doing here?” asked Rick and felt a sudden rush of anger.
“Is there?”
“I said what are you doing here?” he took a step closer to the guy.
“Rick, I’m not here to fight you or anything, I’m just-“
“Fight me?” repeated Rick and smirked. “You wouldn’t even dare, .”
rubbed his forehead. The last person he expected to be here was Rick. “Listen Rick, is or isn’t she here?”
“Haven’t you hurt her enough, ?” he asked.
> “Just answer the fucking question. I’m not in the mood of this bullshit!”
Rick smiled. “She’s in our house.”
swallowed. I’ve moved on... you should too. Her words from their last meeting still rang inside his head. So she really did move on. He nodded and walked towards the door. This doesn’t change a thing right now, he told himself and passed Rick.
“Where do you think you’re going?” he asked and stepped in front of to stop him.
“I need to give her something” he said, “Then I’ll leave the two of you alone again.”
“Just leave, ” he said. “You’ve hurt her really bad with the Haley thing. For the first time in almost a year she doesn’t feel the urge to cry whenever she sees a baby.”
looked at Rick seriously. “Get out of my way.”
“You’re not going to see her” he stressed.
“Rick, like I said, I’m not here to fight you or something, but I swear, if you don’t step away right now I’m going to punch you.”
“Now, that would make a nice impression you’d leave for .”
?” Their faces were only a few inches away from another. Both turned around the moment they heard her voice. Her hair was lighter and shorter but not too short. It fell a little under her shoulders and the fringe was gone. She had sunglasses on her head and wore a white blouse with stone-washed jeans. Because of her heels she was now taller than she usually would be. She raised her brows when she saw him standing on the porch. Rick inhaled heavily and stepped back. didn’t break the eye-contact but looked at her closely. “Can I talk to you?”
took a glimpse at Rick who just shook his head.
“We’re actually in a hurry” she said not looking at him.
“It won’t take long, I promise” he said looking pleadingly at her. When she looked into his eyes he felt the same old loving feeling. Nothing had changed. She stepped aside and opened the door wider.
“I think two minutes won’t do any harm.” nodded and walked past her. looked at Rick apologetically. She followed inside and closed the door behind her. He stood already in the middle of the living room. She walked up with her hands in her pockets.
“Nice living room” he noted turning around to look at her. His short hair was spiked up a little. He was tanned and – although didn’t want to admit – he looked sexy. He wore a white t-shirt with grey jeans.
“Thank you” she said clearing her throat. For a while no one spoke; looked around the room while watched him. She cleared her throat once more before she said, “, what are you doing here?”
turned around again and smiled half-heartedly. “There’s something I want you to have.”
raised her brows. “What’s it?”
He pulled out a small stripe of paper. looked closer at it and then up at .
“Remember the photos we took in this photo booth?” he asked raising his brows.
’s response was a simple nod.
“I stole them from you” he said contracting his brows because he just realised how stupid this sounds.
“You stole them?”
“The night you were drunk and I took you home... I saw them and I took them with me.”
“I thought I lost them” she said taking hold of them again.
“Sorry” he said honestly. “Anyway, I just wanted to give them back to you.”
“One’s missing” she said turning around because was already heading towards the door. He stopped and faced her too. “I need something to remind me of you” he smiled wearily.
“You’ve got the flat.”
“Nope, I didn’t” he responded digging his hands into his pockets.
“You sold it?”
“No” he said. “I just don’t go there anymore.”
nodded. “So you moved on too. That’s-“ she stopped and took a deep breath to gain some control over her feelings. Right now, she wanted to cry, “That’s great” she finished.
“I haven’t moved on” he said looking at her. “I still want you more than anything else in my life. But I won’t be the one to ruin your life” he said which brought back the soar memory of the night in Bristol when she said those words straight into his face. “I see you’ve moved on and I’m happy for you.”
“What makes you think that?” she said quickly when he was turning around again.
“This” he said motioning around the house. “You’re back with Rick and you live in this beautiful house.”
“I’m not back with Rick.”
“You’re not?”
shook her head. “No, we left Burbank because the neighbours got annoyed with fans camping outside the house.”
nodded understandingly. “How’s Haley doing?” asked although it took her all the courage. The baby must already be born... she wondered what sex it was.
“Fine, I guess” he answered. “I’m not with her anymore.”
looked at ’s shocked expression. She didn’t know...
“You left her?”
“It was pretty much the only thing I could have done-“
“But the bab-“
” he stopped her. “Things went differently:”
She contracted her brows and was all ears when slowly explained what happened the night or rather the morning in Bristol. After he had finished she could just shake her head in disbelief.
“Leni!” she hissed. “I hate her... no... there’s not even an appropriate word for what evil feelings I feel-“
shrugged his shoulders. “Well, she got what she wanted...”
“Yeah, I think she did” mumbled . “Are you still in touch with Haley?”
shrugged his shoulders. “I called her two weeks ago to ask if the baby’s fine.”
“And?” she asked.
“And she told me that he was fine.”
nodded. “A boy” she stated.
“His name’s Thai” he said.
“Wow... extraordinary.”
“It means free... he told me she wants him to be a free, independent person. You know, all about not making the same mistakes she did.”
nodded. “So, are you going back to her?”
“No... there’s absolutely no reason. Thai’s not my son...”
“I don’t know what to say...” she suddenly said.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, this is what we wanted right? You’re not longer bound to Haley and the baby and I’m single as well.”
nodded. “But it feels wrong, doesn’t it?”
nodded as well. “Yeah. Too many things have happened-“
“Too many” he confirmed.
“And we can’t possibly go back to where we were” she added causing to nod again.
“We can’t” he repeated and just when he was about to turn around and leave he felt two arms flung around him. had jumped on him, embracing his pelvis with her legs.
“Don’t you dare to leave me alone” she whispered into his ear. She leaned back to look into his eyes.
“You know how I feel” she said. “Tell me you still feel the same.”
“I still feel the same. I wouldn’t have travelled a thousand miles only to give you back a photo.”
smiled and her stomach did a somersault. “I love you, . Always did and always will.”
smiled back up at her and walked over to the couch to place her gently onto it. “No more running away, okay?” he asked. She nodded when he kneeled in front of her.
“No more excuses, okay?”
She nodded again.
“Would you please kiss me already?” she giggled. “Oh, hell, forget it” she said and grabbed his collar to pull him towards her. They kissed and for a very long time both haven’t felt that happy. Is this what people call fate? Destiny? Luck? They didn’t know and they didn’t care... all they knew is that nothing was ever going to part them again.

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