Anna thrust the present towards me and I took it smiling.
"Thank you Anna." I knew I couldn't argue, but if she'd spent a lot I'd kick her ass. I opened the card first and chuckled at her joke. "Oh, I see. You're more beautiful huh?" I giggled as I looked over the rim and found her taking another bite of her cake.
"Shurrup." She mumbled through the cake.
I laughed and passed her a napkin, before setting to work on opening the present. Inside was a beautiful bracelet, silver, with apple green leaves on the flower shapes that were placed along it. I turned it over, staring, and saw it was from Pandora.
"Anna... it's... what... you spent way too much!" I said, looking at it in shock.
"No, I spent just enough. You deserve it. After all, it's been pretty shitty between the two of us recently."
"But still... Anna..."
"Just say thank you and get it over with." She rolled her eyes.
"Thank you. It's beautiful." I placed it carefully back in the box. "I'll treasure it."
"Or you could wear it." She grinned.
"I can't wear it now. It's too expensive!" I muttered, stowing it carefully in my bag along with my card. "So, you got a new flat while I was away. Guess that means you haven't spoken to the others?"
"No." She muttered, looking down at her drink.
"Anna, why the hell not?"
"I just never got round to it."
"Ok fine. I was scared. I acted pretty crappy and I didn't think they'd want to take me back."
"Well you won't know unless you try. Come on, if you finish up we'll go and see them. I need to practice with the band, and I need some ideas for my birthday. So you can all suck it up and be friends for my sake."
"Don't want to hear it. So, drink and conversation. What do you want to know about Italy?"
"What was your favourite bit?"
I bit my lip, thinking. Only when I saw her eyeing my lip did I release it and answer.
"I think it was this little square there was, with a fountain in the middle, little cafes round the side... it was beautiful. I'll break out the photos when we get to Jack's. But you should have seen it."
"Did you and Sam do much business while you were there?"
"Yeah, we went to some galleries, she got some beautiful paintings. It was nice."
"Yeah. I mean, by the third one I was a little bored of going to art galleries, but that was the last one, so it was fine. Besides she more than made up for it."
"Oh yeah?" She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
"Not what I meant."
"Shut up." I glared jokingly and relaxed. It seemed like everything was back to normal. "Look, I need to think about my birthday. Sam said I could have a party in Pieces if I wanted. What do you think?"
"I think it's a good idea. Maybe get a dj?"
"Yeah, I asked the one from Fringe if she'd do it. She said yeah as long as I set her up with some hot guy. I was thinking Liam..."
"Hmm, not a bad idea."
"Right?" My phone buzzed. "Oh, speak of the devil. He wants to know if I'm up for a band practice." I typed a 'hell yes!' in to the phone and then put a note about Anna coming too, to warn then. "Come on, finish up. It's now or never kid."
"You are all going to get along for my birthday if it kills you."