"Can I take Anna a slice of this? Actually, maybe we should have gotten a welcome back cake... but then it might be too much for her mum if we all showed up..."
"Why are you panicking?" Sam voice was smooth and deep in my ear, and despite my stress I smiled and leaned back further against her. She stroked my arm gently, and I took another bite of cake.
"Because," I explained when I had swallowed, "none of us know when to go over, when to say anything, what to do... Last I heard Anna's mum was pretty bad, and none of us want to make her worse by showing up all cheery and noisy to welcome Anna back. Plus, I don't think anyone is really prepared to deal with Anna... I don't know how she feels about Megan, and she's got her mum to deal with. It's just a lot to take in."
"You're over thinking it." Sh slid her hands further up to my shoulders and started rubbing them. "Stop stressing. Anna will be grateful that you came to visit, keep the volume low so you don't stress out her mother, who will probably be happy that her daughter has such good friends."
I sighed and put the empty plate down, relaxing under her hands.
"You're probably right. Mmm, that feels good." Her hands hesitated for just a second, and then continued. "Mmm."
"You might have to stop making those noises."
I twisted to face her, and smirked when I saw the look on her face.
"I know that look."
"Yes, well, it's hard enough having you shifting against me, let alone moaning." She ducked her head and avoided eye contact. I turned so that I was kneeling between her legs, and lifted her head with my finger.
"I know you told me to stop saying sorry, but I'm sorry." I leaned forward and kissed her, slowly, to prove my point, I felt her breath hitch against my lips when I stopped, and her hands tighten where they had knotted themselves in to my shirt. I laid another, hesitant, kiss on her lips, thumbs stroking either side of her face. Then she was pulling me closer and kissing me; hot, urgent and close. I had to move to get closer, throwing my legs over hers so that I was straddling her, and it only made her drag me closer. It was only when she released my lips and latched on to my pulse point, and my hips jerked forwards to meet hers as they always had done with that particular spot, that I had the sense of mind to push myself away.
"Not... not yet." She pouted, a rare sight, and I kissed her gently, but briefly. "We're waiting, remember?"
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but for how long?" She moaned, her hands sliding dangerously low on my back.
"It was your idea but we both agreed to wait, and I need to wait. I don't... I don't want to hurt you again." She stared at me for what felt like a long time before she spoke.
"I've forgiven you Cara. How long are you going to beat yourself up about this?"
I climbed off of her and started gathering my things, avoiding her eyes and her question.
"I have to go; the guys will want to leave to see Anna soon."
"I don't know Sam. I don't know if I'll ever stop feeling guilty. But knowing that you've forgiven me... it does help." She stood and pulled me in to a hug.
"I love you." Hearing her murmuring it in my ear, firmly and with so much confidence, made my heart swell.
"I love you too."
"Come on guys! Get moving! We've got a long drive with a pregnant woman to get on."
"Guys, it's an hour and a half drive." Ali rolled her eyes.
"Yeah and with you, it'll be an extra hour. 'I need the toilet again', 'I'm hungry'..." Liam was stopped by a cushion hurtling towards his head. "Hey! No hurting the driver."
"You're not driving, I am." Jak rolled his eyes. "Get a move on guys, Cara's right."
We finally all piled in to the van, and I shut the door.
"Final check. Cake for Anna?"
"Check!" They all chorused.
"Books and grapes for her mum?"
"Cookies for her dad so he doesn't feel left out?"
"Snacks for Ali to try and prevent millions of stops?"
"Um, check?" Ali mumbled around the doughnut in her mouth. We all howled.
"Alright, let's get going!"