"Okay but I need you to come. I can't just go by myself."
"It's winter. It's freezing. Christmas is like... less than two weeks away."
"It's not like it's outside Cara."
"But we have to come outside afterwards." I pouted.
"Oh my god okay, okay."
"Thanks." Ali grinned.
"I hate you."
"You can't hate me, I'm pregnant." She rubbed her belly and smirked.
"You want to go swimming, in winter, so we'll have to come outside with wet hair."
"But we'll be all warm from exercise."
"You're a giant who is due to give birth in, what? Three months? You won't be doing much exercise."
"If I could move fast enough, I'd hit you."
"I know." I grinned cheekily at her.
"So, about you and Sam-"
"-Don't you dare jinx it." I pointed at her, menacingly.
"Hey, woah, no jinxing here. I'm just curious about how it's going? Have you even kissed yet?"
"Once. DON'T SHRIEK." I anticipated her next reaction just in time.
"But Cara! That's so good!"
"I don't know."
"Because I'm still worried that it's happening because I don't want to mess it up and she is so... wonderful."
"You are so gay."
"Kind of the point."
"So so SOOOOO gay."
"Yes, well done. Come on, if we're going swimming, we're going now, while there's still light left in the world."
"You're dramatic too."
"Yes. Come on, move it."
Sam texted as we were about to set off.
Want to get dinner? x
Heading to swimming baths with Al. She needs exercise x
Doesn't she get enough of that with Jak? ;) x
Luckily for us, they've slowed it down now. x
Hmmm. Are you wearing the bikini from Italy? x
I stared at the text. We hadn't really discussed where we stood on flirting now; the kiss had changed things but...
Was that too soon? I don't mean... well... it's
just so easy to flirt with you. x
I grinned down at the new text. She could read my mind.
I like it. I've missed it. And yes.
The emerald one from Italy x
"What are you smiling at?" Ali tried to peer at my phone "Sam sexting you?"
"Do you want to come over after swimming?"
"We've just finished," I murmured down the phone.
"That was quick."
"Ali realised she was too tired to do much."
"So we could still do dinner?"
"I look awful."
"You could never look awful. But I was thinking maybe I'd cook?"
"Wow... sure. Are you sure?"
"Yes. You sound surprised."
"No I just didn't know you could cook outside of reheating takeaway." I smirked, and could almost hear her eyes roll.
"Hilarious. Just get over here as soon as you've dropped her off. I want to talk to you about Christmas."
"What about Christmas?"
"Come over and you'll find out."
"Mmmm." I could hear the smile in her voice.
"See you soon. "
I tapped on the door and shifted nervously. The walk over had been pretty quiet; most people were staying inside now it was cold.
"Hey," she breathed as she opened the door.
"Hi." I murmured. I was almost nervous; everything felt new again, but with the added advantage of knowing all her expressions. Well, nearly all. Not the one she was currently sporting.
"Come in, it's freezing."
She took my coat, and I rubbed my hands together as she lead me down the corridor. The table was set, and there were candles. I blushed; she'd made it so beautiful. There was a picture of us back on the fireplace too.
"You really know how to make an effort; have I ever told you that?"
"I don't remember. But I hope that's good, right now?"
"Yes. Very good." I pressed a gentle kiss to her cheek and sat down. "So, what's for dinner?"
"So... Christmas?" I peered at her over a small glass of wine.
"Yes. Well... are you going home?"
"No. My mum is going away."
"Do you have plans then?"
"I think we were all just going to cook and then eat ourselves in to a coma."
"Well, if you want, you can come for dinner here? All of you? My sister is coming, and so are Myra and Lex, so I figured we could make it a party."
"Are you sure? I mean... that's a lot of people to host."
"Yes. I want to. I feel like it's been a tough year and I want to end it on a good note."
"That sounds really nice."
"I thought everyone could bring one item of food, and then we could play games, watch movies... whatever."
"That actually sounds really nice."
"Good. And maybe secret Santa?"
"Okay... but we can do presents too right?"
"Of course. I have yours already."
"You... you do?"
"What is it?"
"I can't tell you."
"I need to know what to spend here."
"You don't have to spend anything."
"Cara." She smirked. "I don't expect anything. I already had this present ready for you."
"Sam..." I sighed. "You make me so... confused."
She stood up and walked around the table to me. Gently, she stroked some of my hair from my face, and leaned down to kiss me.
"Love is confusing." I stood, to wrap my arms around her neck and give her a kiss too.