I wandered down to the cafeteria place and got myself a BLT and sat outside with it to have a smoke. Except the hunger I'd felt upstairs - the hunger I always get after healing - had disappeared almost the moment I sat down.
So now I'm just sitting here, smoking and staring at the BLT, in my quiet place. I forgot that I'd said I'd only be a minute, so when Gemme sits down, it takes me a moment to realise why she had to come looking for me. I blink and look up at her as she stares at me.
"Shit, sorry," I mumble. "I only came out here to have a smoke before going back up, but..." I trail off. The look on Gemme's face is weird.
"But?" she prompts, but I shake my head. I've forgotten what I was gonna say anyways. "So you're okay...?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?"
"I dunno, you seem a little distant," she says and I shrug. If you can't work it out yourself, you are definitely not as smart as I first thought. C'mon. How hard can it be? I've just healed the guy who managed to get you to cheat on me with him, I'm letting him come back to the house with us after like two days and I'm still getting my head around the fact that I've forgiven, rather than killed you. Or at least tried to.
In fact, I only slapped you. Once. Which was a lot, lot less than I wanted to do you.
"I'm fine," I repeat, standing up. "Are we going, now?" I look around, trying to see Benny.
"If you want to, Benny's waiting near the car." I nod and she gets up. We walk back to the car in silence and, just as she says, Benny's standing by the black Merc, waiting for us.
"Hey, Benny," I mutter, getting in the driver's seat. He nods at me and Gemme climbs into the passenger seat and Benny sits in the back. I reverse out of the space and I end up letting my telekinesis do most of the work, ‘cause my concentration isn't all there and I nearly crash just getting out of the parking space.
"Luca, when we get back you've got to tell me what's wrong." She whispers so that Benny doesn't hear. I smile at her and drive back to the house at a normal speed, and by normal I mean the speed limit.
"I'm fine," I mutter in her mind. "I'm fine, so there's no need to keep asking me what's wrong."
"You almost crashed, sweet." Sweet? That's a new one. I can guarantee you; I'm not sweet at all.
"Yeah. I just wasn't paying attention. It happens to everyone," I can't believe I've gotten into a mental argument with her already.
"Then what's on your mind?"
"You're the mind reader. Have a look," I light a cigarette and glance at her, daring her to do it.
"I told you I wouldn't, without your permission."
"Yeah, and I just gave you permission, didn't I?"
"You're driving. When we get home. So, save those thoughts." What thoughts? Apart from the quiet relief from Emily having finally shut up and wondering how to handle Gemme/forgiving Gemme, there isn't anything on my mind. The rest of it is blank. When we finally get back to the house, I park up in the garage and get out, walking back into the house ahead of Gemme and Benny. I don't even wait for them, I just go straight to the living room, light up and vaguely consider going for a piss.
It'll be interesting to see what Gemme will find when there really isn't much on my mind.
"So do I still have the invitation?" Gemme asks, following me in as Ben thuds off upstairs. I blow out a lungful of smoke as I nod. She looks through my mind, the weird prodding feeling moving through my head. Don't think I'll ever get used to that one. "Wow, you cleaned up," she says, surprised and I look up at her.
"Well what were you expecting to find?"
"Dunno, something. There's no me, no Emily..." She frowns and I stay silent, giving her a questioning look. "Never mind," she smiles, "so you think I can kiss you yet?" My mind goes totally blank at that, freezing up and I force a smile onto my face.
"That's a no, then," she sighs, shaking her head a little. She does that a lot, doesn't she? Shaking her head I mean. Just always doing it. I shrug and turn my attention back to my cigarette, which is threatening to drop ash on my leg, the way they usually do. I find the ashtray and tap the ash off in that instead, my mind returning to its mini debate about whether or not I can be fucked to go all the way upstairs for a piss.
"I love you." She mutters, staring at the floor. "If that means anything at all." I look back up at her and the beach, for some reason, flashes back into my head for a split second.
"Yeah. Yeah it does." I nod. "Means you shouldn't have even considered fucking Benny behind my back like that," I growl, standing up. I push past her and walk upstairs, shutting myself in the bathroom.