My mum continued to make little digs about the state of my friendship with Anna throughout the meal. I got a text from Anna half way through and just seeing her name made me annoyed after every little comment. I replied shortly, and felt bad about it afterwards, but it had to be done. I couldn't cope with being sociable to too many people right now.
"Well, that was an experience." Sam breathed as my mother finally left us at the foyer of the hotel she was staying in.
"I just want to go home." I moaned, scratching my arm.
"You alright? You've been scratching all night."
"Pretty sure I'm allergic to my mum's not so discreet digs."
"They were a little obvious weren't they?"
"Let's just never get my mum and your mum together. We'd never survive it."
"Oh I don't know. I'd fight for you." She stopped and pulled me in to an embrace.
"Not what I meant." I muttered against her lips. "But I'd fight for you too."
"Good to know." She muttered and kissed me. "Happy birthday."
"Mmm, it's still my birthday?"
"For another-" She checked her watch "-fifteen minutes."
"Then I have a birthday request."
"Oh really? And what's that?" She was grinning.
I stretched up to whisper in her ear, then withdrew, grinning cheekily.
"Mmm, happy to oblige." She chuckled and took a step towards me. I took a step back and gave her a cheeky 'I'm innocent' look.
"Have to catch me first." I took off, grateful that I'd worn flats for once. I could hear Sam chuckling and then her following me. I giggled and rounded the street corner, dodging a lamp post and aiming for the highstreet and Pieces. I glanced behind me and saw Sam was gaining. I pushed forward, still giggling.
My muscle pulled, cramping all up the back of my calf.
"Oooh!" I cried and stopped myself, almost falling over in the first place. Seconds later Sam almost barrelled in to me, catching me in her arms and twisting to steady herself so that we didn't fall to the floor.
"Got you!" She grinned triumphantly.
"Oooh, ow help!" I grimaced, trying to stretch it out and feeling the cramp spread to my foot.
"What? What's the matter?" She said scanning me.
"Cramp. In my leg. Ow, help please."
She shook her head chuckling and knelt down.
"Here. Press down in to the floor." I noticed my foot wasn't flat, but curled up a little. I followed her directions as she gently pushed my leg down, then rubbed my muscles until the aching disappeared.
"Oh, it's gone. Thank you." I groaned, happy to be free. That had been cripplingly painful.
"Sure? I could carry you home?" She joked, winking at me.
"Well if you're offering..." I replied, pretending to prepare to be lifted. So imagine my surprise when she actually scooped me up and carried me the few steps to Pieces. "Oh my god, Sam! What are you doing?"
"Carrying you across the threshhold." She grinned.
"But we're not married!" I laughed as she awkwardly pulled the keys out of her pocket and unlocked the door, while still holding me. I squealed and held on to her in case she dropped me.
Once the door was open she carried me through and then let me go gently.
"If I was ever to do that for real, it would be with you." She whispered, looking at me cautiously.
"Huh?" It was all I could say. I just stared at her.
"Nothing." She muttered, kissing me. She pulled me closer and kissed me again and again as we stepped backwards.
"Sam... You said..."
"Never mind. I have your birthday wish to fulfill." She kissed me again.
"You're trying to distract me..."
"Is it working?" She nibbled on my ear and I wrapped my arms around her neck.
"Yes." I replied begrudgingly.